Day: October 2, 2014

Module 2

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The second module is called Concept, this term is based on research and explore our individual ‘Area of focus’. It is an area of time where we can really dig into our subject and try to understand the in and outs. This will eventually lead onto our final masters project.

As I have said many times throughout these posts I am very much into children’s books and one day  would like to be a independent children’s book and illustrator. For this module I will be closely following my dissertation as they are interlinked. Focusing on how to make a book, sounds easy but I want to know the details for example:

  • what types are paper are there
  • are there certain stories that are successful in the age category of 4-7years
  • Average page numbers (32) and why is it so specific
  • Why do artists take years to finalise their book
  • How do artists work
  • Can I work how they do

… and many more questions. I will achieve the answers to these questions through research on the internet, emails, interviews and books as well as possibly observational research. It is quite daunting of where I will be going with this and if I am on the right track but you won’t know unless you try. Although saying that I am finding it difficult to motivate myself to work, it’s not that I am not trying it is not being satisfied with how much work I am doing per day. For example the other day I wrote a few blogs and created a mind map which for me is terrible, but I am hoping that I will pull it together and crack on. I will have to wait and see…


Dissertation research

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Before I started diving into my work I thought I would first look into what is involved in a dissertation. I will point out now that if you are reading this then please go ahead and use the information although every course has different styles and my art course will be different from say law.

 So I took out some books from the library:

  • Writing your dissertation by Derek Swetnam


  • Write great essay and dissertations by Hazel Hutchison


  • Reflecting Writing by Kate Williams


  • and I accidentally loaned Dissertation Research and Writing for constructive students by S. G Naoum.P1110942

Here are a few pointers I got from reading these books:

  1. When analysing figures you could maybe put it in a table as it looks professional
  2. If you lose the central thread you can edit the text and introduce where appropriate a short ‘reminder’ paragraph where the research is referred to directly
  3. Academic style of writing for reviewing tables:
  • From table 2 it may be seen that the highest levels occurred in…
  • The low response rates in column 4 were probably caused by …
  • These figures should be treated with caution as…

I have used these example as I struggle with making things sound clever and academic. I personally need to look at examples as I struggle to make a sentence straight to the point without wasting words by waffling.

When writing the introduction these are a few points that I thought were useful:

  1. Could start with a vivd question
  2. Start with a quotation
  3. Clarify your thoughts
  4. Show what prompted the research – search for new research?

A few pointers for a literature review:

  1. This shows that you have read widely and acknowledged other views
  2. It makes a definitive statement about an aspect of your study
  3. Deals with the theory that underpins your work
  4. What ave others said, written or researched about my topic

A few pointers for a conclusion and recommendations:

  1. The results must not be repeated but summarised and related to the research question
  2. Has the question been answered, confirmed or nullified?
  3. If it has gone wrong how is this explained?
  4. Remind the reader what was undertaken briefly and what emerged from this as all as suggesting further research.

Appendices could include:

  1. Interview schedules
  2. Questionnaires
  3. Transcripts of interviews
  4. Documents written by others
  5. Long statistical analysis
  6. Official forms
  7. Every appendices must be referred to within the essay for example;

Records for 1996 were also examined and a summary of those figures is found in Appendix A or the original pilot questionnaire (see appendix C) was rejected because….


Here are some of the academic styles that I thought were useful:

The research showed that…

The author found…

The writer…

It was discovered that…

It was soon realised that my sample…

It was decided to increase…

…to ensure that there would be…

Doubts remained about the…

…it is intended to investigate this aspect further.


Common punctuation faults are the colon : which is used to introduce a list of objects or to join two clause of equal importance.

The semicolon ; to separate long and complicated items n a list.

Key words that I thought could apply to my work:

Correlation Research – expiring the possible relationships between variables

Data – All the information and facts collected from your samples

Descriptive Research – Describing what exists in your sample in a structured way without analysing variables

Independent Variable – The variable controlled by the researcher to investigate its effects on others

Instrument – Any tool such as a questionnaire to obtain data

Interpretative – subject of explaining and interpreting data

Nominal Scale – scales designed to label or categorise groups and their qualities

Validity – How far you are actually measuring the variable that you say you are meaning


Bibliography and images:

Hutchison, H., 2010, Write Great Essays and Dissertations, London: Hodder Education

Naoum, S, G., 2007, Dissertation Research and Writing for Constructive students, 2nd ed, Oxford: Elsevier Ltd.

Swetnam, D., 2000, Writing your dissertation, 3rd ed. Oxford: How to Books.

Williams, K, et al., 2012, Reflecting Writing, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

First Lecture

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So the first lecture was based on what the dissertation was all about and say what we think we are going to base it on. Here are a few pointers that I picked out during the session:

  • Back up every point or argument
  • It has to flow for the reader to understand it
  • Broader range of sources
  • It would hopefully link to the other module
  • Re-word quotes to merge into the essay
  • Make a time plan
  • Higher level of critical analyses – sounds scary but basically use different sources, cross examine the point/use different point of views
  • Analyse – say what things look like
  • Originality
  • Make it more relevant to your practice
  • More primary research e.g. questionnaires, interviews etc
  • Keep reminding the reader what the main topic is
  • Vocabulary – could make a list at the end highlighting what the key words are and the definitions
  • The title could be a research question – a research problem or purpose or trying to find something out

All these points are quite overwhelming and it doesn’t help when I look at this and think basically it’s just another essay but fancier. I am going to digest these points over the time of writing it so I don’t freak myself out. I’ll keep referring back to them so I will hopefully stay on track.

During the lecture we had to say what we were thinking of doing, I had already thought of this before I started back as I didn’t want to suddenly think crumbs I haven’t got a clue. My question I wanted to focus on was:

‘What makes a top selling children’s book attractive to children aged between 4-7years?’

I chose this as I am very much into children’s books as they are fun and enjoyable to read as well as seeing the delight young people get from reading them. Looking back at my work I think my style fits within this category and therefore I have focused the age category. However, during the lecture one of the tutors questioned my topic by asking is it the children’s responses you are looking at or is it the parents and outside sources. I was like sugar, I thought I had this all worked out but this made me question the wording of my question which is good but at the same time it can’t help make you feel a little deterred. When describing how I was going to tackle the research they commented on how it may be a good idea to contact the libraries to see what the most loaned books were. After the session I was right lets do this!

Returning to the Masters…

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Hello again!

I am back from my break and starting the second section of my masters which is a continuous year. So far all I know is that I have to do a dissertation and start a module called Concept… sounds mysterious! So I’ll be posting again through the year to keep you updated with what I am doing with my work and where it is going. Hopefully some of the stuff I post will be interesting and helpful.. I apologies in advance if some of them turn into rants or stressed posts as it can get quite tense at times but hopefully it will all work out.

So here we go, the term begins…..