One of my biggest challenges over the semester has been figuring out what exactly I want my project to be. My last post (way, way back oops) was about narrowing down what the topic of my project should be. I remember that when I figured that out, it was like being enveloped by a warm blanket of relief. That lasted until I realized I had no clue what genre I wanted to go for.
My project topic has been the creation of a design proposal for the peer writing center’s new location. The immediate genres that came to mind were 1.) academic research paper and 2.) some form of case study. I was not a huge fan of either of these options. I did not think that anything I wrote would be at the same caliber of the academics in the writing center canon, mainly because of limited experience and lack of knowledge. And, my only experience with case studies has been Harvard Business case studies that we discuss in the classroom. I had no desire to write in a genre that I’ve grown to strongly dislike.
However, for the sake of having an idea, I committed to the case study (kind of). An excerpt from my Project Proposal:
I am currently thinking of the project overall as a description of our process. The overarching project can be viewed as a case study, but some parts of the finished work may appear more bibliography-like or archival in nature. The narrative that I want throughout is going to be based in Sweetland and our efforts. The focus of the project will be exploring 1. What the mission of our center is (and what we would like to do better) and 2. Figuring out how to translate that into a physical space.
Can you tell that I have no clue? I thought that if I explained my project in as many ways as possible, there would be no way I could be wrong. The overall effect was major confusion. But, luckily, I was struck by inspiration from the unlikeliest source. My Cost Accounting professor has dedicated an inordinate amount of time to keeping us up to date with what Elon Musk is up to. He had us read a blog series about Musk’s different ventures from Wait But Why. In many ways, the blogs read like a case study of Elon Musk and the technology behind his ventures. They educated both on the issue at hand and about Musk as a person while keeping a tone of brevity.
Of course, since finding a model for my project, things have changed again. But I’ve decided to just go with it.