Listen to part of a conversation between a student and a professor.
I'm so sorry I'm late, Professor Mills.
I just finished at the Student Medical Center- I twisted my ankle playing soccer this morning.
It took longer than I expected to see the doctor.
That's OK. Don't worry about it, David.
So, lets get started.
Your paper on John Dewey's political philosophy has a few issues I'd like to cover.
You gave a great biographical sketch in the beginning.
OK. But then as you get into his political philosophy, I don't think you've done enough to situate his philosophy within the time period.
In other words, you haven't connected Dewey's philosophy to the thinking of other intellectuals of the time.
So I haven't captured the most critical influences, the influences that were most significant to his political thinking?
OK. Now look back up at this section here... where you wrote about Dewey's view of individuality.
This is all good content, but you haven't presented the information in a systematic way.
I really think this portion on individuality needs to come later-after your paragraphs on Dewey's intellectual influences.
[sighing] After my revised paragraphs on what influenced him.
[humorously] Yes, revised. Let me ask, uh, when you were finished writing, did you go back and ask yourself if all of the material was relevant?
I do think there are areas that can be cut.
I guess what I'm saying is that your paragraphs aren't really presented in a logical order... the direction of your argument isn't crystal clear.
And there's some unnecessary material getting in the way.
OK. Sounds like I have a lot to do.
And one more thing... do you have a copy of the department's document on the correct format for in-text citations and references?
No, um, I-I mean, I looked at it online when I was working on this assignment.
You really should print it out. You're going to need it for every paper you write in the political science department.
It looks like you were getting it mixed up with another referencing system.
Oh. Y ah, I used something different in high school. It's so confusing switching to a new system.
I know, but remember-everything needs to be consistent when it comes to referencing.
It's a very important academic convention.
Oh-also, I wanted to ask you... will you be at the Political Science Club meeting Saturday?
Definitely. The topic's John Dewey!
Yes. Are you interested in leading part of the discussion? Tom Hayward is looking for someone to help out. I think you'll have a lot to contribute.
That'd be fun! I'll give him a call.