Clarifying your Topic (and Purpose!)

  • Let's take some time to assess how your research so far should be informing your writing.
    • First of all, be sure you aren't "borrowing" someone else's argument/purpose/goal. You should be using their writing to inform how you talk about your topic, not simply reiterating or directly analyzing their message.
    • Second, it's ok to ask questions in this kind of writing! If there's something you want to know more about in relation to your topic, make that part of your discussion of it!
    • Third (and critically), you should be thinking about the kinds of results that your searches have turned up. What results have connected most closely to your interests and what search terms led to those results? Keeping track of this kind of "process" information will benefit you when we develop our information literacy in the library on Thursday.
  • Think back to the important ideas from last week and how the research you've done so far demonstrates your interests.
    • What excites you about talking about this topic?
    • To whom would you like to share your excitement with? (Continue to refine your imagined audience by writing about it!)
    • What do you hope to show them that they might not know?
    • How can you accomplish this through the lens of computer science?

Structuring your Synthesis

  • Create a catchy title!
  • Incorporating an image?
  • Stylistic guidelines? What kind of writing do you have in mind?
  • Your "A-Ha statement" (not a thesis...?)
    • Ultimately, this piece of writing should serve as a model for some of the other work you do throughout the semester. If you are part of Triad CS, keep track of the writing skills this project asks you to practice so that you can apply them to your Ethical Dilemma slides!


  • Spend time continuing your research and writing!
  • By the end of class, you should have:
    • some general assessment of one key ("popular") source
    • an attempt at an "A-Ha statement"
    • identification of your audience (writing it out will help clarify it for you)
    • (somewhat) refined search terms to practice with on Wednesday


  • Read TC4 in NWWK by Friday!