URP 694

URP 694– Urban Planning Doctoral Seminar

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Course Details

Course No.: 24087

Department: Urban and Regional Planning

Semester: 2018 Fall

Location: Hayes Hall – 328

Meeting Day(s): Wednesday

Meeting Time: 8:10 AM - 10:50 AM

Faculty: Sternberg

The purpose of this course is to introduce PhD students to the discipline of scholarship, as expressed in the academic journal article.  We will particularly seek to cultivate our judgment about what is strong (substantive, contributory, high-quality) versus weak or superficial scholarship.  Our theoretical guidance on how to do so will come from the interdisciplinary literature on “argumentation,” also known as “informal logic.” During our discussions, we will cover topics such as:

  • The predominant purpose of the article: to defend a thesis (assertion, claim, proposition)
  • What makes for a scholarly assertion that is significant
  • How to tie scholarship to either fundamental questions in the intellectual life of the field or to subjects of concern in the worlds of planning
  • The varied types of propositions that planning scholars defend:
  • Forms of evidence through which scholars may defend their claims.
  • How the flow or argument in the article may be organized or structured.
  • The difference between this classical form of the scholarly article and the literature review.
  • Conciseness and clarity as indicators of good scholarship.

The primary expectation in this seminar is that students will each write an article, directed at an academic journal, by the end of the semester, on a topic they are considering for their eventual dissertation.