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Stage 4

Build an Idea

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Material for a Project

  • The following will help you center your research toward a topic
    • Genesis of interest
    • Bring the sexy (What causes others to be alerted to your presentation)
    • Why do your research findings matter? What does it add to the understanding of your topic?
    • What would professors and teachers get out of your presentation?
    • What's the main point you want your audience to understand
    • What does the research add to the topic?
    • What's the most interesting story from your research?

      (Amended from Portwood-Stacer's) The Book Proposal Book








What purpose does your research serve?

  1. Undergraduate level Literary Device Paper: Applied Concepts and Devices
    • Unacceptable for PCA.
    • Applies an older, traditional concept or narrative device to a narrative.
    • Using symbols, metaphors, motifs, etc.
    • The Literary Devices, which are basic Middle School or High School concepts Composition 2 course.
  2. Undergraduate Level Theory Driven Paper: Applied Theories
    • Unacceptable for PCA.
    • Applies an older, traditional theory to a narrative, such as Plato's Allegory of the Cave, Sartre's concept of Dread/Angst, or Veblen's Conspicuous Consumption.
    • Level 1 through Level 7 theory papers written in my Composition 2 course.
  3. Shaping Popular Discourse through Professional Writing: Adding to a current discussion among the Literati.
    • Like memes, there are usually ideas du jour among the Literati. Sometimes these last for weeks; sometimes for years. Sometimes they rise out of more academic work; sometimes they are just a discussion that someone starts, and the discussion roils forth.
    • Currently, Artificial Intelligence is one among many Literati ideas du jour
    • Another Literati du jour ideas is automation, such as the article "Forget Fears of Automation, Your Job is Probably Bullshit Anyway
    • Former Student's PCA research on the Death of Adulthood in American Culture added to a Literati discussion from a few years ago that concerned the lack of mature (40+ year old) characters in TV shows.
    • Literati: See Stage 2for the list of popular Literati sources.
  4. Shaping Popular or Academic Discourse: Travelling an idea across disciplines.
    • Uses an idea/concept/theory from one discipline (such as Psychology) to apply to another discipline.
    • Hailey's research of personality disorders on female characters in Sci-fi & Fantasy.
    • Or, this idea that uses psychology in the chapter "The Psychological Process and Cost of Killing in an Undead Wasteland" The Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead
    • Or, this article that uses a concept of Risk Society from economics to apply to post-apocalyptic stories.
  5. Master's Level Work to Shape the Discipline: Amend/Update a current theory
    • Uses an existing theory but updates/ amends that theory toward a more applicable use concerning narratives and/or an era/worldview.
    • Sonnel's grief cycle inferred from hero films rather than pulled from psychology and applied to films. While this is a new cycle, she amended/updated current psychological grief cycles in relation to hero films.
    • This concept of Anthrop-scene in "The Anthropo-scene: A guide for the perplexed"
  6. PhD Level Work to Shape the Discipline: Creating and utilizing a New Theory
    • Created a new theory to analyze narratives, sometimes including how that helps us analyze our world in a new way.
    • A new theory can help shape a discipline (such as Humanities, or English Literature, or Film)
    • Guitton's research (using the burn chart on He-man characters) created a new method by which we can see the limits of creativity.
    • Matt's extension of Barthes' idea of the Enigma and the idea of Primary and Secondary characters to create the concept of the Enigmatic Tertiary character.
    • Kristina's revision and new theory of the term "cultural infiltration" allows us to understand a new subversion of/about power, knowledge, and how films can enter/ irrupt into a broader market.







Former Ideas in the Course