Penn State

S.Shyam Sundar - professor of communications, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Explication

Author: Steven H. Chaffee

Book Description:

Explicating the meaning of a concept lies at the core of all scientific endeavors. This book tells us how to do that with precision and certainty. This book had a profound influence on me ever since my graduate school days. It transformed me from a journalist to a scientist and from a writer to a thinker. Today, I use this in my research methods class as the primary reference for an assignment asking students to explicate a concept for the purpose of operationalizing an abstract idea so that we can study it empirically. They tell me that this book has not only taught them how to define terms for use in research, but, has also come in handy in other contexts (such as arguing a case in court based on explication of certain terms used in legal doctrines and contracts). Ultimately, this book is about a way of thinking with disciplined clarity and building a sound scientific mind in the process.

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