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Humanities Libertexts

2.7: Rationale

  • Page ID
    7300
  • [ "article:topic" ]

    Overview

    The Rationale is an explanation of why your proposal is necessary and useful, and for whom. A Rationale provides an evaluation of your proposal for the audience, in the sense that it assigns value to the proposal. In other words, it explains the good qualities and characteristics of the proposal.

    checklist

    Draft Checklist:

    ___Reasons the proposal is needed

    ___Who the proposal is for

    ___Source for your information about who and why

    ___Where the need comes from

    ___Source for information about need

    ___Cause for need

    ___ Source for information about cause

    ___Outcomes of proposal

    ___ Source for information about outcomes

    ___Reasons this is a good idea

    ___Reasons this should be implemented

    ___Proposal compared to other proposal for same need

    Prompts

    Prompts from Draft Checklist:

    1. Why is the proposed solution needed?
    2. Who will it impact or affect specifically (positively and negatively)?
    3. How do you know it is needed and who it will affect?
    4. Where does this need seem to come from?
    5. How do you know this is where it seems to come from?
    6. What causes this to be a need?
    7. How do you know this is cause?
    8. What will change if your proposal is accepted?
    9. How do you know this will change?
    10. Why is this a good idea (why is it important)?
    11. Why should your proposal be implemented?
    12. What is something this proposal is better than?

    Template/Draft

    Template/Draft from Prompts:

    Rationale

    Scholar’s Day is needed (because) to respond to a general call from faculty that student writing needs to be improved. Implementing this event will impact (who?) those students who wish to submit a paper to Scholar’s Day in order to avoid the Proficiency Exam that is required for graduation. Even if their papers are not accepted, they may indicate proficiency. This will also affect faculty who are chosen by students who are submitting papers to sponsor them. Faculty will guide and help students develop papers or essays that are worthy of submission. I know this will work because many institutions successfully sponsor university-wide annual Research Days or other events designed to highlight student and faculty work across disciplines.

    The need for this event seems to come from a tendency to see writing papers as an empty academic exercise, rather than a way to learn and to better make our research, activities, arguments, and observations known to the community. This seems to be true of students and faculty alike who see writing as a needless chore, which it is when artificially assigned in artificial situations in an academic setting. Probably any class we ask will admit that writing is too slow and of very little value, especially when there seems to be no new information in classes where writing is the central activity. The cause for this need for a proficiency exam is probably a lack of understanding about teaching and learning about composition in elementary and secondary school curricula. The focus is on interpretation and self-expression, which only applies to a few college-level classes. We only have to ask a science, business, or history professor to find that these ways to write do not seem to apply well to their disciplines.

    If we implement a Scholar’s Day-type activity university-wide, some changes might include better writing across disciplines, more professor/student collaboration, a shift in attitudes about why we write and what academic writing is, less plagiarism, more good ideas put into print, and so on. I know this can happen because it happens at many other universities and even junior colleges and high schools. This is a good idea because we cannot expect two semesters of college writing and a few writing-intensive courses to equal proficiency in any field. This proposal should be implemented because writing proficiency rises at those places that have already implemented similar programs. This idea – that student writing may be improved by working toward a “presentable” paper with a faculty mentor, teacher, or sponsor – is better than asking students to write empty, academic exercises in a way none of us do on a professional level.

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