Here’s a general framework to help you create KIs for your essays and presentations. Some of you might jump steps and start with Step 6, others might need to go through each step at a time. The most important thing is to try to work things out for yourself, but then to collaborate if you find creating KIs tough-going. Usually a combination of the framework and collaboration should yield a pretty strong result.
NOTE: Make sure you don’t use the SAME KIs in your work as your collaborators use in theirs!
1. Stimulus material/Essay question: Define the exact nature of the material or question.
2. Central argument or problem: State the essence of the material or question in the form of one simple statement (This is about...).
3. Knowledge Problem (Facts): Raise one question that focuses on the details of the material or question (Who? What? Where? When? Why?).
4. Knowledge Issue (Closed question in context): Now transform that question into a more closed (one that requires a yes/no response) question about the article or question itself.
5. Knowledge Issue (Open question in context): Next transform the closed question into a more open question (How far...? To what extent...? In what way...?) which inspires further debate about the article or question.
6. Knowledge Issue (Generalised Open Question): Finally, transform the previous question into a more wide-ranging open question that draws attention to the ‘bigger picture’ about knowledge in the world and how it is acquired and used; this question need not be focused on your material or essay question at all but goes beyond it in some way.
TIP: you may use any of the KIs you create in Steps 4-6 in your essays and presentations, though you will tend to get more credit for those created in Step 6 if they are effectively expressed and generate balanced arguments when you explore them in the main body of your work.
Watch this space for some worked examples...