Phase G—Clarification through Communication


“I have clarified the overall progression or argument underlying my research and the written reports I am starting to prepare.”


Preparing to communicate about your project does not presuppose that you have finished your planned research. That could continue until the day you submit your final report. Indeed, at this half-way point in the project, you will probably still be refining the direction (Phase A and C) and scope (Phase D and E) of your research as well as filling in Background Information (Phase B). In Phase G, which spans several sessions, you clarify your thinking by preparing to communicate your work-in-progress to others, all the while continuing your research. (Elbow 1981 and Daniel et al. 2001 are helpful in this phase and the next.)

Tools and Processes

Overall Argument—Clarification
Work-in-Progress Presentation
Visual Aids
Narrative Outline
Writing Preferences


In session 8
Extract the Overall Argument stated or implied in a previous researcher's project report.
Draft a sequence of Visual Aids, both to prepare for Work-in-Progress Presentation and to clarify your Overall Argument.

In session 9
Take a turn practicing your Work-in-Progress Presentation in front of a subset of your peers. From everyone's feedback to each other and from your own experience doing your practice run, clarify further your Overall Argument and revise your Visual Aids.

In session 10
Work-in-Progress Presentation to all your peers, advisors, and, if possible, a wider audience with feedback given in Plus-Delta mode and, time permitting, through more extended Q&A periods.

After session 10
Digest feedback on Work-in-Progress Presentation.
Building on your Work-in-Progress Presentation, start the process of outlining, writing, and revision, all the while continuing your research.

By session 11
Complete a Narrative Outline. Resist the temptation to give your report a short, cryptic title. Instead, create a long and descriptive title, because that helps to orient your readers as well as keeping you on track as you write. Follow the title by your Governing Question and Paragraph Overview, both of which may need to be revised since your most recent submission. Having all these items at the start of the outline will help you monitor whether you are writing what you set out to. It will also help readers offer well-focused Responses.

Around session 11
Explore your Writing Preferences to identify strengths you can rely on and skills you need to work hard to develop.

Follow up

As you draft and revise your writing under Phase H, Compelling Communication, continue to work on clarifying and refining your Overall Argument and keep in mind what you have learned by exploring your Writing Preferences.

Daniel, D., C. Fauske, P. Galeno and D. Mael (2001). Take Charge of Your Writing: Discovering Writing Through Self-Assessment. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Elbow, P. (1981). Writing with Power. New York: Oxford University Press.