Write a (1000 word minimum) research narrative that convinces me that 1) that your research has produced significant learning about the opposing position and 2) that you can express your learning in organized and polished sentences and paragraphs.
How I Want You To Do This
1) Preview the Strategic Dialogue Project, and decide what issue you will be crafting an imagined dialogue around. (In previous VoiceThreads, I’ve asked you about issues that are important to you and likely given you feedback about what you said, but now it’s time to make a final decision or to sharpen your focus, if you haven’t already.)
2) Find two great sources that present an extensive argument in support of “the other side,” i.e., the side that the protagonist of your dialogue will be working AGAINST. (People on the other side of the issue should also agree that they are great sources that represent the side strongly.) Ideally, each source will offer you something different rather than one basically repeating the other.
NOTE: See my video about Procon.org (Links to an external site.), which is a good resource for topic selection and source-finding.
3) Write a Research Narrative that answers to following questions:
a) What is the issue that you are building your dialogue around? Why does this issue matter to you? What do you see as the different “sides” of the issue? What is/was your pre-research understanding of “the other side’s” position? (2+ paragraphs)
b) What are two opposition sources (i.e., opposing arguments) that you judge to be high-quality sources (i.e., you may not agree with their conclusions, but the arguments seem to be well-written, based on evidence and reasoning, and reasonably extensive–the argument takes you beyond what you already knew or could already summarize about the opponent’s position)? What are the main points made by the advocates of the opposing arguments, and how do they support these points? (3+ paragraphs)
c) What did you learn from this research? How was your knowledge of the people on the “other side” deepened through this research? In what ways might the “opponent” be humanized through new knowledge and deeper reflection? In answering this question, it may be useful to consider the questions Lee poses on pp. 52-53 on Talking Across the Divide? (In the “Shut Up and Listen” chapter under subtitle “What Is Strategic Listening?”) (2+ paragraphs)
Note: Click this link to see an example (from a student in a previous semester) of excellent opposition research and reflection. (Links to an external site.) (Please note: what I want you to notice is the quality of the research, the thoroughness of the writer’s summaries, the quality of the writer’s reflectiveness, and the level of polish to the writing). Although some of the details of the writer’s assignment were slightly different (I was only asking for a report, not a research narrative, so the format is a bit different), the sample is still a good model of the qualities mentioned in the previous sentence.
The attached files below is the format for it and an example of how the research is to be done.