Activity of the Week: Jumbo ‘Spectra’ Worksheets for Narrowing Topics and Locating Positions

Activity of the Week: Jumbo ‘Spectra’ Worksheets for Narrowing Topics and Locating Positions

Activity Name: 

Jumbo “Spectra” Worksheets For (1) Narrowing Topics & (2) Locating Positions

*Spectra Worksheet adapted from an exercise by Marvin Diogenes

Class:

PWR 1 & PWR 2

Activity Brief Description: 

These two worksheets help students to identify and visualize (1) questions ranging across a spectrum from the absurdly broad to the absurdly narrow and (2) positions across and outside the spectrum from “Yes” to “No.”

Schedule: 

I created the first worksheet for use early in the TiC, the second for early in the RBA (after students have collected multiple sources), but they can be used at various times.

Activity Length: 

Flexible. I devoted approximately 40 minutes per worksheet.​

Activity Goals for Narrowing Topics: 

  • Develop better understanding of the appropriate scope of paper topics and research questions.
  • Brainstorm, narrow, and refine possible topics and questions for self and peers.

 Activity Goals for Locating Positions: 

  • Move from simplified Yes & No argumentation to more nuanced positions.
  • Locate various sources’ positions within and outside a spectrum from “yes” to “no.”
  • Identify various possible positions students might take on their issues.

Activity Details: 

See attached handout. (Stanford only; email to request access)

(originally shared winter quarter 2015)