DISRUРTING WОRK & САRЕЕRS Research Essay Plan Guid

Research Essay Plan Guide: 2000 word research essay
Your research essay will be structured (without subheadings) into an introduction, body and conclusion. There are three parts to this document: 1. Guide, 2. Blank template, 3. Example.
To begin planning your essay, choose a week of the unit and focus on a single assemblage of communication technologies. This will serve as a general topic. Once you have a general topic, find your examples. I suggest you need at least three examples. ‘Example’ in this context could be three versions of the same technology, three historical eras, three different ways of doing something and so on. The examples should be thought about before any extra reading or research (but after the readings in the unit which you should already have done).
With your three examples you can begin drafting a provisional thesis statement. A thesis statement clearly states what your essay is about. That is meant literally, so if one of your friends doing this unit asks you, “So what is your essay about?” Your one line response should be (a version of) your thesis statement. In the humanities and social sciences, writing up research is part of the thinking work that goes into the research. This means that as you begin writing up your examples and your critical analysis of them in the form of an argument, you will more than likely revise your thesis statement. The final version of the thesis statement is sometimes framed as a question that is then ‘answered’ in the conclusion of the essay. The revision process is expected because research is a process of discovery.
Think about each of your examples as discrete but related sections of your essay. Focus on each of them in turn. Poor examples will be obvious examples and will be marked down accordingly. There is no point doing research if you already know the answer to something. For the purposes of the research essay plan you should include: 1. a one sentence description, 2. one sentence about the propositions/claims you are making about this example, 3. up to two references that you have found that are relevant to your example, and 4. a sub-conclusion about how this example demonstrates some aspect of your primary argument (expressed in the thesis statement). The one sentence description should be straight-forward and the references should be self-explanatory.
At this point you should have an understanding of your thesis and your examples. What is missing is point 2 about propositions/claims and point 4 about the sub-conclusions you are drawing. In other words, what you will need to think about for the purposes of the research essay is how the example fits in your argument, i.e. essay structure.
In the structure of your essay, between the introductory paragraph and the first of your examples, you will introduce and begin critically exploring one of the technological assemblages of communication discussed in the readings or lectures. The proposition and sub-conclusion lines of your essay plan address the relevance/connection of the example for/to the critical exploration of your chosen assemblage. To describe your assemblage in 4-6 dot points means you will necessarily have to refer to the Slack and Wise readings (weeks 2 and 3) and offer a definition of the assemblage in your own words in the context of your chosen assemblage.
You will need a minimum of 10 references to pass this essay. Better essays will have double this number of references. You can use the readings. Note: if you are referencing extracts of a single work, then only reference this single work.
Research Essay Plan EXAMPLE
Provisional thesis statement: Fitness enthusiasts have upgraded through three developments of the fitness analytics assemblage.
What is the assemblage? [4-6 dot points]
The fitness analytics assemblage are articulations of:
1. Sensors, computational and communication technologies
2. Discourses, terminology and ways of talking about fitness, activities, bodies and so on the belong to respective fitness activities.
3. Dynamic relation between bodies and activities through which embodied activity is ‘read’, territorialisations of the body
4. Affects and meaning mapped onto a sense of achievement (i.e. ‘working hard’ etc)
5. Recent developments include activities being shared through ‘platforms’.
Example 1
Description: Early practices of self-documentation amongst fitness enthusiasts.
Proposition: What has been the function of practices of self-documentation in fitness activity?
Sub-conclusion: Practices of self-documentation are part of a project of the self that helps orchestrate goal setting behaviours.
References: [Foucaultdans something something, properly referenced]

Example 2
Description: The first major technological developments were to do with way-finding technologies in the form consumer-level GPS and sensing technologies such as heart rate monitors.
Proposition: What was the effect of new technologies for capturing activity and sensing the body, such as GPS equipped technology and HRM?
Sub-conclusion: The effect of new technologies in the composition of the fitness analytics assemblage was to produce new relations of visibility and new ways of understanding bodies/activities.
References: [Specific case studies to specific studies on this, properly referenced.]

Example 3
Description: The introduction of ‘platforms’ to gather together once disparate self-tracking technologies for documenting fitness activity.
Proposition: The latest fitness analytics assemblage is organised around specific apps, such as Strava and/or RunKeeper and the like, which has enabled the production of new social relations between particpants mediated by the platform. This can be described as a form of governance.
Sub-conclusion: Platforms govern fitness activity through the setting of collective goals and relationality, such as with ranking of participant activity in Strava.
References: [Langlois, properly referenced.]

Research Essay Plan
Provisional thesis statement: [One line]
What is the assemblage? [4-6 dot points]
Example 1
Description: [One line]
Proposition: [One line]
Sub-conclusion: [One line]
References: [Up to two references, correctly formatted]

Example 2
Description: [One line]
Proposition: [One line]
Sub-conclusion: [One line]
References: [Up to two references, correctly formatted]

Example 3
Description: [One line]
Proposition: [One line]
Sub-conclusion: [One line]
References: [Up to two references, correctly formatted]

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