Reviewing and Revising an Argument

Original Field Research as One of Many Forms of Evidence

When original field research is only one of many forms of evidence, a brief description of the method and data relevant to the argument is sufficient. For instance, here's a sample paragraph:

Rather than learning for the sake of becoming a better person, grades encourage performance for the sake of a better GPA. The focus grading puts on performance undercuts learning opportunities when students choose courses according to what might be easiest rather than what they'd like to know more about. [Sub-point in a paper arguing that grades should be abolished in non-major courses.]
For example, [Summary of Published Study.] students polled at CSU in a College of Liberal Arts study cite the following reasons for choosing non-major courses:
  1. Easy grading (80%)
  2. Low quantity of work (60%)
  3. What was available (40%)
  4. Personality of teacher (30%)
  5. Interested in the class (10%)
Similarly, in an interview I conducted with graduating seniors, only two of the 20 people I spoke with found their non-major courses valuable. [A description of field research methods and findings.] The other 18 reported that non-major courses were a waste of time for a variety of reasons:
  1. I'm never going to do anything with them.
  2. I just took whatever wouldn't distract me from my major so I didn't work very hard in them, just studying enough to get an A on the test.
  3. Non-major courses are a joke. Everyone I know took the simplest, stupidest, 100-level courses needed to fulfill the requirements. I can't even remember the ones I took now. [Other relevant details from field research; note answers about taking courses with friends and other non-relevant answers are not summarized.]
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Introduction