Strategies for writing a positional paper in design [and other disciplines]

February 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm 1 comment

PIC: Amber’s Class [CM]

It happens [once in a while, hopefully more and more] that our design students need to write a thesis or a paper. How do we make that process more cognitively approachable for their academic training? Amber Howard, PhD candidate and instructor at NCSU [previous posts on teaching Mobile Technologies] College of Design has been taking students through what was her own writing process for the dissertation proposal. She is helping MGD students to identify and structure positional papers as an exercise for their thesis writing. 

PIC: Amber’s Class [CM]

[1] With three colors, students had to identify: sources, evidences and big ideas in articles found in particular books. [2] Then they would follow the hierarchical structure presented in the whiteboard to organize their cards. [3] Big Ideas are the parents, evidences and sources will be the “children”. Students generate a summarizing argument and then try to find similarities and differences among the group.

PIC: Amber’s Class [CM]
During these iterations, the students do register with photographs their mapping. They post it in the blog so that the instructor [Howard] can make a follow up on the advances that the students make.

In the process, the students will organize a linear story by using key points of significance, add transitions and they will generate the introductory narrative. The course follows formal steps in the construction of arguments and the use of annotated bibliography. Even though students, might later jump over these paths, they will certainly recognize the structural underlying taught in this course.



Entry filed under: Educacion, Methods, Teaching Methods.

Is Google making us stupid? How the Internet is changing us…. DiRT-Open Source Digital Research Tools-Wiki

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sheylaa  |  February 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Pero como he tardado tanto tiempo en encontrar este blog! Directo a favoritosxxsuvj


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contact + citing (CC license)

Constanza Miranda PhD(c) design.anthro
* Currently @ DILAB
* Ex.VR @ Stanford's Center for Design Research [DesignXLab]
* Ex.Instructor @ PUC Chile [Design+Engineering]
Use citations ¡Citar es ético!
Creative Commons License
Design for Social Innovation initiative by Constanza Miranda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at

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