For this first week of Unit 6—that revolutionary Dostoevsky book—we would like you to continue thinking about research questions and specifically the challenge of scope. What’s your topic? And how do you find a question or problem to explore that is specific enough to be useful for your readers? Have a look at chapters 3 and 4 in The Craft of Research (here and here) to help you see how to limit the scope of a topic and develop a research questions.
For Wednesday find three specific topics in Demons and write for each a research question. No outside research necessary. For each of the three topics (1) cite a passage from Demons; (2) describe a topic that your passage could be about; (3) write a research question for each topic.
Here’s an example.
“Though the sermon was at its midpoint and the entire packed crowd that filled the church was listening with full and hushed attention, nevertheless a few eyes glanced sideways, with curiosity and bewilderment at the woman who had just entered.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Demons, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (New York: Vintage Classics, 1995), 153.
Topic: ideology of church sermons in nineteenth-century Russia.
Research question: What was the content of a typical church sermon and how did the content of church sermons that the characters in Demons would have heard specifically inform their thinking about liberalization in the context of the novel?
Post by Wednesday at 5:00pm.
Remember to tag your section teacher.