Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Goldilocks and the Three Topics (a dialectical three)

Once upon a time, a young woman was choosing a topic for her 15-page church history paper.

First, she thought she would write on "The Church in the Middle Ages." She found 2400 books that told of 240 people arguing about dozens of doctrines. She had no idea how to corral them into 15 pages. Her first topic was TOO BIG!

Next she thought she would try "Typical Lunch Menus at the Cluny Abbey." This topic would integrate her interest in cooking. "Brilliant!" she thought. Alas, she could only find one paragraph on the subject. There didn't seem to be enough information for a 15-page paper. Her topic, it seemed, was TOO SMALL!

Finally she settled in on the topic: "Monastic Corruption and Cluniac Reforms." She could describe and analyze this topic in 15 pages. There were enough resources. She would know exactly what to look for when she did her research. Ah, yes, this topic was JUST RIGHT!

Now it was time for a break, so she went to the kitchen and made a delicious stew. She was sure the monks at Cluny would have enjoyed it. The End

1 comment:

  1. Did someone have a hidden camera on me as I searched for a good topic for my Christian Heritage II paper, which was "Monastic Life in the 14th and 15th Centuries" (probably still too broad!)? This simple blog is very wise indeed!

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