Neil Postmans Technolopy: Technology and society

First, study and choose one of the suggested topics from Technopoly or a topic from your area of academic and professional interests. You may choose a topic that is relevant to an on-going or future academic course, a topic in which you have some knowledge, an issue about which you are curious and which may lead to a long-term investigation in a profession or in graduate studies. For more information about the research proposal, read P. T. P. Wong’s “How to Write a Research Proposal”

Second, survey the availability of sources you will need to conduct the research project.

Third, phrase the research topic as a loaded question, beginning preferably with a word such as “what,” “how,” and “why.” While they are not the only words with which to phrase a research question, these inventive words help to impose necessary limitations and focus on the topic of the research project.

Fourth, derive a thesis statement from the research question. The tentative answer to the research question becomes the thesis of the research. The answer is only a guess at the beginning of the project, but after reading the collected sources, a final thesis statement will emerge to supplant the tentative thesis.

Fifth, write about 1000 words to explain your proposed research project. Explain the research question and its relevance to other studies or issues in the discipline (sociology, criminal justice, social work, etc.) to which it belongs. Is it an extension of another study? Does it answer a question only suggested in a previous study? Describe the type of scholarly sources you will review, your approach to search for them, and the information and arguments you expect to encounter. Will the scholarly sources be limited to a certain historical period? For example, the sources to be consulted may be limited to only materials published in the last five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years—depending on the topic. Well studied topics tend to have abundant scholarly sources.

Finally, compile (see Webliography) a 12-source critical annotated bibliography (Project 1B) of scholarly books and articles you will use to conduct the research. This is the bibliography from which you will select sources for your critique essay and literature review. See Project 1B description.
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