Determining an approach
We are walking through the landscape of our topic, focusing our minds on our ultimate goal. How do we get there? The trick is to find a self-evident sequence to discuss each of the parts of your argument in turn, so that each part locks into the other.
That is a question of approach. Any
mountaineer knows that a mountain has various approaches. In approaching a
topic you have to determine how you are going to reach your goal. To do this
you have to distinguish the various stages of your journey.
To stick with the example of the parallels between Jamaica and West Africa, the approach strategy might be to:
· describe the built fabric of Jamaica
· give evidence for the connection between the people of Jamaica and the communities you intend to investigate in West Africa
· describe the built fabric of those communities in West Africa
· compare the buildings of Jamaica with those of Africa and come to a conclusion about the nature of their relationship.
to a conclusion as to the significance (that is practical implications) of that
That is relatively straightforward but it gets more
complicated when you have to decide on what particular kind of evidence is
relevant to your argument. Would
looking at parallels in religious practices help? Would it help to investigate
building techniques? Would it help to investigate family structures? Would it
help to look at decorative schemes? Selecting what is relevant to your purpose
among these subjects will determine your approach.
stage along the argument will discuss a separate issue. It is useful to
separate these stages into chapters or subheadings.