Project 3 Checklist


  1. Find the models in the data (transcript). This requires a careful examination of the material. Consider each word in a transcript. Pay attention to detail. As you go along, make sketches, notes, rough drafts, of models. Try highlighting in different colors to represent emerging categories of events in the material.
  2. Choose to develop models that are well supported by the data. You will need to choose, and in order to choose intelligently you will have to do at least a partial analysis. This means that you will probably discard some part of the analysis you do. This is normal. It is the right thing to do.
  3. Describing the model. Use text for the full description. Be sure to include the parts of the model that are necessary to understand the transcript. As you develop the description of the model continually test it against the data. Your description may include other parts of the cultural model that are parts of the model but that are not instantiated by the transcript. If you do, try to indicate which parts of the model are needed to understand the data, and which are not.
  4. Represent the models as diagrams or in propositional form. This process will help you get the details of the models right, will help you see and understand the relations among models (hierarchical, sequential, competing, etc.), and will allow you to write the main description and analysis sections more concisely.
  5. Examine the role of the models in the organization of the material. This is the big question. Cultural Models organize meaningful discourse. Your job is to show which models organize the discourse you examined and show how those models were used by your informant to produce the discourse you recorded.
  6. Once you have identified some models, you can ask (and answer) these questions. Where does the model appear to be at work? What is it doing? How is it instantiated? (for example, informants often give a specific instantiation before a more general statement of the structure of the model). How is it related to other models? Here is where taking your time and attending to details pays off. Insight should be rewarded. You can discover something new while doing this. Even if it is only new to you, it's important, and genuine discovery is a great feeling. Writing up steps 5 and 6 will produce the analysis section of your paper.
  7. Include a link to the data! Be sure to make it easy for a reader to find the elements of the data to which you refer in the description and analysis. Be sure that it is absolutely clear which elements of the model appeared in the data and which elements are implied by the model, but did not appear in the data.