Monday, November 11, 2013

11-9-13 Research & Writing in Formation

Theological writing is much like other technical writing, except for the subject matter.

"Join the 'Great Conversation' in which ideas throughout the world and time are invented, discussed or refuted."  -Fairfield University

Step 1:  Pre-writing.

From what  perspective or ecclesial role am I writing?
What am I writing about?
For whom am I writing?
What is the genre of writing?
What is the organization pattern?
What is the theological language I should use?
What is the theological voice?

There are tactics and techniques that can be used to help prepare.

Free Writing:  Choose a topic; Set a time limit; Start writing and don't stop until time is up; Write whatever comes to mind.

Cubing:  A cube has 6 sides.  Describe it; Compare it; Associate it; Analyze it; Apply it; Argue it.

Visualizing:  Used to organize ideas into groups.

Step 2:  Write.

Write so others want to read it.  Clear; Concise; Coherent; Considerate; Correct.

Research Plan
1.  Begin with questions
2.  Check out the community of scholars.  What have others already said about the subject?
3.  Read and Take Notes
4.  Write an outline.

A theological research project is always an attempt to answer a question.

What is the claim?
What reasons support the claim?
What evidence supports the reasons?
Are there alternatives or objections to the claim?

Assemble reasons to support the claim:

CLAIM... (because of) ... REASON ... (based on) ... EVIDENCE

There are three ways to reason: 

Ethos ... Ethical
Pathos ... Emotional
Logos ... Logical