Case Study Outline: Resilient Tampa Bay

There are a lot of times throughout my writing process in which I stop, exasperated, wondering whether I’m over-analyzing my resources, over-explaining my perspective, or – in general – just over-doing it. I do a lot of writing by hand, so this means that I physically feel pain in hand, wrist, neck, when I’ve been at the process for a bit too long …

The process usually begins with a THOROUGH analysis, including note-taking in margins and in notebooks, of my resources. This summer, I incorporated blog-posting into this stage, meaning that after I had read/understood/analyzed my source, I began drafting a critical response, attempting to link this response as tightly as possible to my current project.

The note-taking stage is usually followed by the articulation of research questions, in which I match published research with new/original/critical concerns as I see them developing, etc. Next, I begin the outline, which consists of the research question driving the paper, meta-research questions, topics, subtopics, all with corresponding quotes and page numbers from my resource materials. In the end, the outline is quite extensive, not to mention time consuming … I’d estimate that outlining consumes at least 60% of the entire writing process itself.

Then, I begin writing, purely from the outline. During revision, I use the “comments” function in Word to write little notes to myself, mostly notes that consist of research that has occurred post-writing; new resources, new information, etc. Then, the process seemingly begins again, as I note the working draft, add resources, glean those resources for pertinent information, begin another outline, this time incorporating the revisions with the working/original draft, deleting a LOT of the current draft and synthesizing the new information.

Admittedly, I don’t necessarily write quickly, because I sense that I can’t write effectively/rapidly unless I have a thorough and potentially overly detailed accounting of my resources … and, as mentioned, the majority of the writing process itself is consumed with outlining …

But in the end, although no one generally sees the outline, I have found it to be eminently important to my writing process, however detailed, mentally and physically exhausting, frustrating, or seemingly time-consuming it may be.

Below is the outline I’ve finally developed for a case study I’m currently revising …extensive, yes. Complete, no. A good start, for sure.

I.                    Resilient Tampa Bay

i.      What is resiliency?

ii.      Intentions/goals of workshop

  1. Why “resiliency”?
    1. Discussion of problematics of climate change vs global warming; neither is effective terminology
      1. Brulle
      2. include uncertainty
      3. Meyer’s perspective and MM&R’s perspective re: uncertainty…
      4. as a means of offering a way out of paralysis and into effective action …
      5. action that isn’t focused on researching the origins of global warming in order to justify humans’ involvement/not but rather to address the current situation: the earth’s warming – without becoming preoccupied with the degree to which one or another person, entity, animal, etc. is to blame
    2. Why is “resiliency” the preferred replacement terminology for climate change and global warming?
      1. (analytic thesis) new terminology – that of resiliency, versus (crisis)climate change – and the subsequent developing of a rhetoric of democracy – opens the black box of climate change to the communication that is necessary for restoring the vibrancy and engagement of citizens with science
        1. How did the workshop work?

i.      What knowledge was exchanged and how?

ii.      What were the rhetorical frames?

  1. Concepts? (Crisis versus democracy rhetorics)
  2. Why involve the Dutch

i.      Science and technological knowledge and experience (engineering planning/goals)

  1. What does RTB engineering want?

ii.      *my contribution* THINKING (paradigm shift)

  1. Ideology of resiliency that views climate change not as an environmental problem but as an opportunity to engineer water management solutions that are both functional and beautiful
    1. Re-conceptualizing “nature” (Morton)
    2. What has my rhetorical analysis found/what am I arguing was occurring? (explicitly rhetoricalknowledge exchanged is about discursive styles and the participants did not see this as explicitly as you do.  That is your contribution and argument.
    •       Did RTB want an exchange of information about how to engineer resiliency structures  or an exchange of information about how to communicate an ideology of resiliency – an ecological way of thinking – to the public?

ii.      Cite Meyer here re: funding for communication of the science (we have all of the scientific “evidence” we need … but no effective way of communicating it …

II.                  Communicating Uncertainty

    1. How do we make decisions under conditions of uncertainty?

i.      What does “science as the management of uncertainty” mean?

ii.      How does uncertainty relate with climate change science?

iii.      What does EC scholarship argue ab uncertainty?

  1. Paradigm shift: making decisions despite uncertainty
  2. The science ought not to focus on reducing uncertainty, but on what we are certain of (Meadows, Meadows, & Randers’ conclusions) and how to communicate the sciences appropriately (Ryan Meyer)
  3. Latour on the sciences versus Science: climate change and global warming = concerned with reducing uncertainty; Science … resiliency is concerned with the sciences … opportunities to research and experiment with solutions to climate change threats/effects (in this case, urban flooding, sea level rise, storm surge)
    1. Can we talk about climate change without using the terms “climate” and “change”?

i.      Yes: in terms of “resiliency” because resiliency is re-oriented; it is concerned with opportunities for civic engagement rather than preoccupied with the reduction of uncertainty (as climate change and global warming are)

ii.      Citing scholarship re: how g.w. and c.c.  are defined/used/by whom …

iii.      Cite public misunderstanding of both terms …

iv.      Cite political stalemate re: g.w. and c.c. 

III.                Rhetorics of Resiliency

    1. How was resiliency communicated at RTB?
    2. Rhetoric of crisis (instability, unpredictability, excessiveness)

i.      Threat messaging

ii.      Fear

iii.      Saul-Sena’s question

iv.      Implications

  1. Brulle
  2. EC scholarship on fear, etc.
  3. O’Neill/Nicholson/Cole re: fear (alone) won’t do it …
    1. Rhetoric of democracy (purpose, change, practice)

i.      Civic engagement

ii.      Fear balanced with effective actions

iii.      Seibert’s question

iv.      Implications

IV.                Implications

    1. What were the implications of both rhetorics?
  1.         Conclusions
    1. Recommendations from RTB
    2. Latour/Harman/Morton – metaphysics, OOP, art, implications, global suggestions re: how to mesh resilient ideologies …
    3. EC scholars’ perspectives/recommendations

i.      Balancing fear with effective actions

ii.      Rhetoric of resiliency ought to be a rhetoric of civic engagement, communicated using challenge         appraisals



About klangbehn

Doctoral Candidate: Rhetoric of Science University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Avenue Tampa, FL 33620-5550 View all posts by klangbehn

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