Category Archives: Thesis

Application to Transfer Interview

Yesterday I had my application to transfer interview. The interview as one would expect was quite tough and a couple of the questions were difficult to answer. The interview started with a review of the parts of my research that worked well but as this was more concerned with critical aspects of the research these were not discussed.

Much was made of a need to be more explicit with my conceptual framework with my regards to my use of motivation within the research. However, the theory and concepts relating to creativity, generations and literacy were judged to be more clearly argued. About half an hour after the interview I was called to be told that the panel had recommended that I transfer to PhD status. This was more of a relief than an celebration.

However I did go out last night. I’d  already got tickets to see my favourite band, The Fall, (left) at the indigO2, a few months back.  This helped take my mind off the events of the interview, although I have slightly wooly head this morning!

Anyway now I can get back to progressing forward with my research without the worry of having to re-apply in the summer.

Argumentation and Analysis

In the next few weeks were going to have write our literature review which will be the first piece of writing for, what will become, part of our thesis. We’ll updated the literature review constantly during the three years as more research is conducted and more literature is consumed and published.

This Wednesday’s class covered the area of Argumentation and Analysis in depth which turns out to be the most informative and interesting of the lectures so far. Much of the content concentrated on relationship between ideas and practice and how to flow from argument through a premise to a conclusion.

My graphic design career taught me that information is made easier and clearer to understand when organised and displayed visually using a graphic device. Here we are introduced to Mapping: the geography of research & argumentation. We’re shown three types of maps for different uses; tree, content and concept all with different functions. It is also stressed upon us the importance of mapping and remapping in analysis & planning our argument.

In March we are expected to make a 15 minute presentation of our research project at the symposium. I preparation for this we’re going to spent the next three week sessions discussing and rehearsing in front of the group. Better start to get my powerpoint ready.

Postgraduate Research Seminar #1

In the first semester we were very much left to our own devices to read and write our plan of work. This term were getting deeper into the mechanics of what post graduate research is all about. This includes writing skills, types of research methods, how to present and publish our thesis. It’s good to see there’s a few mavericks in the group. It always livens up sessions like these. I’ve been very impressed with the University’s organisation and quality of seminars and talks. I can see why they have such good reputation for media research.

These sessions are held in the evening from 5pm to 8pm in a room where the lights are automated to go off if no movement is detected. They seem to go off regularly. The default must be set to ‘gym’ as they only seen to come on again after wildly waving our hands.

Anyway, today’s lecture is an overview of the coming weeks contents and what constitutes ‘original’ work and how to develop the relationship with our supervisor. Over the next few weeks we’re going to develop our writing skills by producing a literature review/theoretical chapter, learn some ethnography software and develop our presentation skills as well as learn about values and ethics in research.

Social Science for Researchers at British Library

The British Library put on many free events for researchers to inform them of their services. The Conference Centre was the setting for the day event. Many of the attendees had travelled from around the country. The Library is developing ways of opening access to its archives and gradually digitising as much material as possible.

The web has opened up the research community to sharing information and so the Library has launched an initiative to collect, search and order theses online with their EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service).

I went to a workshop on Newspaper archives based in Colindale, London. A fabulous and seemingly massive collection of news and print publications dating back to the 18th century. Second session I sneaked out to go to the 19th Photography exhibition at in the main library which is a very comprehensive collection of the pioneers of early photographic techniques.

After a lovely free lunch there was a panel discussion about the future of the library in the digital era. Title: How are the skills required by researchers to maximise Web 2.0 tools affecting the way that research is conducted and what are the potential ramifications of this? Quite a mouth full. Each of the three panellists gave a 5 minute speech on their views followed by a discussion. A question was asked from the audience wanting a definition of “web 2.0” and this is where the panel became a bit unclear. I stepped in to explain that one of the main components was the ability to be interactive and share information where a website was ‘dynamic’ rather than ‘static’ in its use, often attached to a database for information storage. I asked the panel if they agreed with me but they went quiet as if I had said something offensive. So I then explained that Web 2.0 was a phrase that Tim Berners-Lee does not accept. I was relieved when one of the panel acknowledged that they knew who he was.

A very good day with lots of available resources to use. The British Library is a truly great British institution.