Truth in Society

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 1994

Prompt #8

Filling in gaps, continued . . .

This afternoon, after we've taken a few minutes to take stock and see where everyone is, you should continue working in your triad. If you think that a bit more time researching in the library would wrap up another question or two, that's what you should do. But you should spend most of the time between now and when we get back together at 4:00 moving toward putting together a written report to the rest of the class on what you've found and where you found it.

Be sure to leave enough time for this. Write not only about what you learned, but also, in some detail, about how you went about your research. To do this, you need to carry a notebook or pad with you and write down notes about what you do at the time you do it; otherwise you'll never remember the details.

Here's one suggestion for how you might structure a report: you could begin by describing the questions you set out to answer first, then describe what you did to answer them (different members of your groups might have different accounts of this), and then tell us whether you actually managed to answer any of them. Or you can think of another way to organize it. Describe failed attempts as well as accomplishments. Note the questions that remain unanswered, and speculate about what steps might be followed to deal with them if more time were available. Finally, spell out any new questions that emerged from your work today.

The report should be collaboratively authored by all three members of the group. This sometimes takes a while, so you should plan to spend some time at it so that the final product is as clear as you can make it. You may need to organize some time between now and Thursday morning for your triad to meet on this. We'd like to begin with complete reports at the start of class on Thursday, but this depends in part on how people feel about the day's work in the library today. Thus you should be aiming to have a wordprocessed (if someone in your group is comfortable with that) or very neatly hand printed copy of the final version of your report ready by then. We'll make a final decision about when the reports need to be done at the 4:00 meeting today.

Here are some suggestions about collaborating. They are only suggestions: Your triad will want to find its own way to write collaboratively. You may find that it's best to draft as a group; or one person might do a draft and the other two take turns revising; there are other possibilities as well. The important thing is to make sure that each person feels she has a voice in the work, and that everyone can live with the final report. In our experience reading chunks of text out loud is useful in the drafting and revising process.

Your report, along with those put together by the other triads, will be photocopied and distributed to everyone else in class. It will become resource material as we prepare "descriptive overviews" of the six episodes. These overviews, in turn, will serve the purpose of ensuring that everyone has enough basic information about all six episodes so that they'll be able to participate fully and effectively in the making recommendations -- and eventually decisions -- about which three episodes to pursue in greater depth.

Our closing meeting today will start at 4:00 pm, back in Room 112. We'll do some assessment of how the day went, and possibly we'll have a look at the video reflections.

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