Creativity Essay #4: Testing Your Theory of Creativity: A Segmented Research Essay

Like Bohm and Shekerjian, assert a theory of creativity, based on your own experiences, class experiments and insights (from this class and from others), examples from texts discussed in class and evidence from source material. Then, following the strategies outlined in Root, craft a segmented essay that incorporates your theory and all your supporting material, linked by the various transitional relationships we have discussed.

You will hand in two versions of this essay: one final version and one meta version. As you draft your paper, turn on the “Track Changes” feature in MS Word (under “Tools”). In addition to tracking the changes, use the “Insert Comment” feature (under “Insert”) to explain the choices you are making along the way, including moments when you respond to peer review, remove or rearrange segments and revise. Also, explain the transitional relationships you’re using between segments (juxtaposition, parallelism, etc.) and why you’re using them. Add meta-commentary throughout, explaining your choices, thinking and process throughout the process. Hand in one final version in which all commentary and changes are invisible, and one meta-version in which all comments and changes are visible.

Audience: Fellow researchers in the study of creativity

Format: 7-8 pages; MLA style

Advice: You must include segments drawn from your first and second essays, along with segments that incorporate research from three outside sources. Your final project will include at least eight segments. As we’ve discussed, each segment presents a unique idea that contributes to the central assertion of your overall essay; however, the transitional relationships between segments allow you to present and develop your overarching assertion. You will need to revise segments taken from earlier work in order to establish those transitional relationships and pay special attention to the organization and relationships between segments. You must integrate information from the three sources you selected for annotation in your annotated bibliography.


Type:  Develop an analytical argument using original research that includes both primary and secondary texts

Rationale:  Building on the library research methods and independent research covered in assignment #3, the segmented research essay asks writers to complete a comparative analysis of outside sources in service of arriving at a theory for their own creative processes. This essay asks writers to articulate transitions across their semester-long reflections on their own creative process; it also provides additional practice using of concise and descriptive language to make and illustrate claims.

Pre-Draft Activities:

(4.1) In-class: “Bisociation” experiment (concept explained in Shekerjian, Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas Are Born): Explain the common ground between any one reading/exercise in this class and any one reading/exercise in another class you are currently taking;

(4.2) Response: Compare and contrast Bohm (On Creativity) and Shekerjian;

(4.3) In-class: Isolate the various relationships between segments of Shields’ essay (“42 Tattoos”)

(4.4) Response: How does the juxtaposition of the marching soldiers and the scattered citizens in the “Odessa Steps” sequence combine to tell a different story than each story would individually?;

(4.5) Response: Wild Mind exercise: Cutting and pasting from first and second essays (inserting appropriate transitions);

(4.6) In-class: Response: Revise segments drawn from earlier papers with a focus on word choice

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