The Rationale

THIS is a link to the rationale and book list submission form.


  • BOOK LIST When preparing on your rationale, it is helpful to begin with a book list. Get ALL the books together you can think of that have influenced your thinking in relation to your concentration. Once you have them, put them in categories. This will help you see what you need to get more of, what your focus is, and even what you have too much of. Movies, works of art, musical works do not count as books, except in very specific cases. No more than one or two. Essays can count as books, but they must be particularly weighty.
  • BEGINNING Once you have the book list, organize the ideas so as to create a rationale that can be used as a springboard for the colloquium. It should be no more than 8 pages, but 5 is fine. Start with some basic BIG ideas and questions. What is your focus? What is the central question you are asking? What is the biggest challenge you are addressing?
  • WORKING TOGETHER You will not be required to work with me for the writing process, but it may help. You can meet with me before you begin to get a handle on some ideas. Once you have a STRONG, CLEAR and FOCUSED draft, you should submit it to ME.
  • SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER  You should make sure to include at least 5 footnotes from the booklist in your rationale. This will show you are using the sources as an intellectual foundation, not just writing a personal history. If a book is on your list you should be able to discuss the overall themes and ideas, and then relate them specifically to your topic and why you have chosen it.
  • SUBMITTING IT I have to approve the rationale BEFORE you submit it here.