Paragraph Overview

In a single prose paragraph you can orient potential readers to your project if you convey where you are going in three senses:
  • the broad steps in your investigation;
  • the knowledge or shift of perspective you want to lead your intended audience towards; and
  • biographical or background information that makes you want to address the issue. (Your topic may seem worthy, but what makes you a person to address it?)

  • In orienting readers, you are also articulating your audience, subject, and purpose: Who you want to reach? What you want to convey to them? Why do you want to address them about that? In orienting readers, you are also orienting yourself as you move along in your project. In that spirit, your Governing Question should be woven into the paragraph or even lead it off. Both the Governing Question and the Paragraph Overview should be revised as soon as you see that your direction is shifting.

    The idea of limiting this to a single prose paragraph is that, if you write more than one paragraph or use bullet points, it is harder for you and your readers to see whether the audience, subject, and purpose hang together well and give you helpful feedback.

    (See Phase A)