Matrix Account (40%, 40 points)
For this project, begin by reconsidering the productive tension we've already discussed between generalists and specialists. The tension has been long-contemplated, long-discussed. The best-known treatment of the issue in contemporary philosophy is Isaiah Berlin's extension of Archilochus' adage about the fox and the hedgehog, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Your matrix account invites you to be both fox and hedgehog, as you develop an episodic account, a series of sketches of key people, keywords, threshold concepts, journals, and research methods that for reasons you will discuss appeal to you, pique your interests, anchor your basis for pursuing an MA in Written Communication, or otherwise blinker at the edges of your emerging curiosities.
Each sketch should introduce the figure, keyword, concept, journal, or research method, and examine the choice as one you have made deliberately, with intellectual care. As it builds, the account will function as a kind of map, plotting out your disciplinary footing and supplying you and readers with a complex matrix representative of the juncture between your intellectual priorities and the ways you (for now) identify your work.
A completed matrix account will, at a minimum, include the following sixteen sketches:
- 3 figures. Focus on scholars whose work you can identify as linked to the field of rhetoric and composition/writing studies.
- 3 keywords. Focus on keywords that have disciplinary cachet. Sketches will provide some definitional orientation.
- 3 threshold concepts. Sketches will introduce the threshold concept and discuss its significance and/or complicated dimensions of it.
- 2 journals. Introduces and provides overviews for scholarly journals that you consider interesting, important venues where scholarship that interests you circulates.
- 2 research methodologies or methods. Overviews of two methodologies or methods that you find well-matched with your research priorities.
- 1 bibliography/reading plan. A one-page bibliography (APA or MLA) listing at least ten sources you have discovered in the process of developing your matrix account and that you intend to read.
- 1 emerging curiosity. Now, be a hedgehog. Develop a three-page sketch of some emerging research interest of curiosity. This is not a comprehensive proposal, although it can riff on or respond to questions listed in Phelps' "Outcomes Questions."
By October 19, submit a draft of the matrix cover sheet (a table with sixteen cells filled in) along with evidence of a start on at least two of the sketches. I will collect check-in drafts (at least 50% completed on November 16. The completed matrix account will be due with your portfolio on Monday, December 14.
Use the completed grid as the cover page for your matrix account. The matrix account should be no longer than 20 pages, typed and double-spaced, adhering to either APA or MLA format.
Contact InformationDerek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2019 Office Hours: T, 12-3