Introduction

Suggested Sequence

Exercises

Suggested Readings


Print-Friendly Page Print Page
Authors & Contributors

Topic Sample

Back Back to Evolving a Topic Exercise

EVOLUTION OF A TOPIC

Task

My Idea

Questions to Ask Myself

My possible topic

Regional Dialects

(What experience have I had with language?)

Too broad -- list types

New Englander, New Yorker, Coloradoan

(How might I break this down into types of dialects? What dialects do I know?)

Still too broad -- Make selection

New Englander

(Which of these interests me most? Which one do I have the most personal connection with?)

Define/list types

Mainiac vs. Vermontese, Bostonians

(What are the different kinds of New England accents that I can think of?)

Still too broad/Make selection

Vermontese

(Which one do I have the most personal connection to? Which one might be the most interesting?)

Define/List

Ayuh, dropping the "R" and "ing"

(What makes up Vermontese?)

What do these indicate?

The English Influence on Vermontese

(Make historical/social connections -- source, cause/effect)

OR: How do I feel about this? What is my connection?

Proud to be a Vermonter

(Make personal connections.)

Other connections I can bring in?

The Vermonter in Me vs. The Coloradoan

(Make comparison/contrasts.)

Where do I see a contradiction?

Why don't I feel I have an accent but others say I do?

(How does this contradict some other idea I have?)

Possible thesis/themes:

Vermontese has been influenced by the English dialect brought over by many of the early settlers.

 

OR I am proud to be a Vermonter and you can tell by my Ayuh. How language reveals our culture.

 

OR When in Vermont I find myself using Vermontese and in Colorado I use Coloradoan -- how we adapt our language to different communities.