The sample qualitative research for this week is a feature article on transit workers in New York during the pandemic.
Here are the three things I would like you to read for:
Once you've read and considered these questions, post between 250 and 300 words that address them.
Additionally, what do you learn about your own final project by thinking about the last two bullets: why tell. this story and why tell this story this way? Write through your answer for your own project in 100 to 200 words.
Good Talk with you today. Not everyone had an abstract and the folks that did got an earful from me--both about what goes into an abstract and how it relates to actually writing something from it.
A few things to know, in general, about abstracts:
1. Abstracts are written in present tense--like you write about literature, it's always happening at that moment.
2. The first sentence or two identifies what your argument is--it's a hypothesis, sure, because this is the start of project not the end of it, but you say it like you know your argument is right.
3. You need to include a sentence or two about why you think this is true--this could be a place to bring in a quote or two from an outside source--it's like saying, I believe X and one of the reasons I believe X is because these other very smart people think something similar to X.
4. You need to include a sentence or two about methodology--this you should be able to do in your sleep at this point.
5. You conclude with a sentence about significance--why is this research valuable in the world. Now, I know, you aren't curing cancer, but you want to convey why we should care about what you are telling us.
A few things to think about as it relates to your final project:
Instructions for Posting & Responding. Once you've worked through the feedback: I gave you during our meeting on Monday, post your finalized (for now) abstract. Once everyone has posted, please read your colleague's post and reply to more than one of your colleagues with one piece of constructive feedback--it could be a question about their argument or how they intend to prove it. It could be a question of clarification (In our conferences I often asked what a writer meant by a word or phrase--clarity and precision are vital in an abstract).
For today's post, consider the reading from Bhattacharya about the various schools of thought, theories, that can impact the decisions we make as qualitative researchers. In 250-300 words, identify one or more theories that speak to you--so theories you agree with or have encountered before or that you think is totally ridiculous. Write a little bit about what you understand about that theory both from Bhattacharya and from your own lived experience--perhaps you encountered it in another class or while watching something or exploring social media or thinking about the news.
Then, expand that idea. Write about the ways you see some of these theories affecting how you or how other people actually make decisions in life. This is tricky. People don't walk around saying things like, because Marxist theory affects how I think about the world, I'm not going to buy a new car but instead buy a used one. But, in fact, a belief that we don't want or need a lot of new stuff all the time is shaped by a belief system and that belief system is based on one theory rather than another--or a combination of theories.
Once you've posted, read and respond to more than one your colleagues.