Research for Repurposing

As I get down to the research, it is basically what I expected it to be. In fact, in many ways, it has been more interesting than I expected. My project hinges on my presentation of a topic through different types of rhetoric. I want to use my own voice and perspective, and I want to use research and data to backup my claims and add depth and ethos to my argument and perspective.

The research aspect has been a bit tricky at times, as finding information online about housing and incomes and rent prices is shaky and usually lacking credibility. New York City is vast and populous, and finding information on specific aspects of institutions within it, and especially in specific regions, can prove to be very difficult. As I try to find information on housing and incomes on 15th Street, I have come to realize that the task may be impossible to complete in a wholesome way,  although I have found some useful tricks in researching. I know of popular apartment rental or purchasing sights that I can reference, and I can easily find information and statistics on all public housing in Manhattan, for instance, and still use this research to contrast the average prices of other types of privatized housing at least around 15th Street. I have even found projects done by students within the city, on gentrification and the like, and have traced those projects to their sources, then used those sources for my own research.
The major roadblock up to this point has been deciding on a writing approach and intended rhetoric so as to ensure that the piece does not try too hard to be something it cannot be, like a fully comprehensive investigative article, but also allow it to be a powerful and provocative piece. I have struggled with this so far, but I know that with continued writing, I will be able to move forward until I reach a sound and perspective that feels right to me, and hits home (hopefully) with the reader. I will have a very rough draft done soon, and will go from there, reviewing it for its use of research and perspective, and what drives the argument and provocative nature of it. The more I write, however, the better I feel. It is coming together, I think! 

2 thoughts to “Research for Repurposing”

  1. Hey Wyatt!

    I remember talking to you in class about the difficulty of your project because of the limitations of accessing the area to do research. Unfortunately, traveling back home to collect longterm data for this essay is pretty unfeasible, however, it seems like you have stakes down on how to go about abstractly searching for unbiased data.
    Also, I appreciate your efforts to “ensure that the piece does not try too hard to be something it cannot be”. That is something I have failed to ask myself as I am working on this project. I think, though, that if we surpassed the level of what the repurposed piece should be, we might come to realize a totally new level of what it can be. Transformation in this project should be transformative and I want us both to learn something come the other side of the due date that we don’t know now.
    Having a nicely crafted rough draft might be just what you need. Once you have this, you can go back and tweak your argument or redefine your research methods to emphasize new points. Just don’t be afraid to cut a couple of the old ones out!!
    Best of luck Wyatt, and see ya tomorrow in class!

  2. Hey Wyatt

    This all sounds very interesting, and I’m looking forward to seeing your final project. It sounds like out of all the people I’ve conversated with about their projects, yours requires the closest thing to “traditional research” (you reference this fact yourself, saying it’s “basically what you expected it to be”). However, while that can be tedious and often frustrating, keep in mind your passion for the reason for which you’re doing the research, and hopefully that will make it go by a little bit easier.
    I completely sympathize with your struggles deciding on a writing approach. Right now I myself am finding the most trouble deciding on a tone and a definitive style for my project. Hopefully the style readings and subsequent discussion today help you a bit in this field (funny, this is the second time I’ve found myself saying that same thing in a comment this week – looks like we all may have similar experiences in this project), but I would give the advice to just be yourself. Even when writing in an academic setting, you should let your voice and humor break through the words, even a little bit, and so if you don’t overthink it and just put your thoughts on the paper, the rhetorical advices that we’ve been using subconsciously for our whole lives will come through on the page.
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with.


    P.S. I have a few charts from my political modeling class detailing housing segregation in major U.S. cities, New York included. Let me know if these are things you’d be interested in taking a look at for your project!

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