This week, our keynotes lecture was with Dr. Ashley Morgan and was all about research, research, research!
Firstly, what is research?
It comes from the desire to discover meaning, to find out more about a subject, the way that a particular thing works, or the manner in which certain things hand occurred.
When undertaking a dissertation, you need to:
- Ask the question, what does it mean?
- Examine, explore, discover and give context to your ideas.
- Discover what existing academic authors write – what arguments, ideas, proposals, debates, information or background information, is already out there?
- Find the right contextual research to look into – use peer reviewed texts (use MetSearch).
- Think about how the research that’s done by others and is already out there, is going to impact on your dissertation.
- Remember, your research forms a basis for your literature review – it gives you a ‘backdrop’ from which you can write your ideas.
What is not research?
- An examination of any old text that you might find
- Newspapers – no Daily Mail!
- Random trawls on the internet – Google is too big, use Google Scholar for academics
- Something you do quickly – research takes time; start now!
- Asking your friends for information which you can then use as ‘evidence’ in your dissertation
- Asking people questions, posting polls on social media – you need ethical clearance for anything like this
How do I go about researching?
- Read academic work in the area.
- Keep thinking of your idea – how can other people’s work that’s already out there inform it?
- Where do you begin seeking information? MetSearch / Google Scholar – you can use inter-library loan to order in any books or papers that the University library does not have for free.
What am I going to do now?
I have filled in my dissertation planning form – the topic that I am going to look at is: The relationship between Graphic Design and subcultures. I have chosen to not look at how just one inform the other one, but instead at how they both inform each other. I want to look at both older subcultures, such as punk, and more post-modern subcultures such as, hipster, and see if and how the relationships have changed through history. I am going to look back at the bibliography I wrote for my essay on subcultures that I did at Level 4 and see if any of those texts could help me again with my current research. I plan to look into Jamie Reid as one of my designers.