Presentation on theme: "FHS Dissertation Lecture 2 Writing the Dissertation: Tips and Tricks."— Presentation transcript:
FHS Dissertation Lecture 2 Writing the Dissertation: Tips and Tricks
Structure What kind of structure are you going to use? Argument-and-evidence (‘front-loaded’) Teleological narrative (‘end-loaded’) Compare-and-contrast Theme-and-variations Case studies
Structure Think about dissertation ‘dramaturgy’: How many sections/chapters? What does each section claim to do? How does each advance or nuance the argument? Where’s the highpoint? Draw up a bare-bones structure before you start writing
Paragraph Structure Try ‘blocking’ each section by paragraph How many paragraphs? What does each one aim to do? How long is each? Do their ideas follow logically? How are they weighted?
Paragraph Structure ‘So with regrets, for they are formidable players, I must dismiss the recordings of Nathaniel Rosen and Ralph Kirshbaum. They are not helpful now. The conventions to which they adhere have been exhausted of their meaning. […] Virtually everything is too loud. One laughs, but mirthlessly, at the second Bourree in the Fourth or the second Gavotte in the Sixth. What is meant to mince galumphs.’ (From Taruskin, ‘Six times Six: A Bach Suite Selection’)
Sentence Structure Think about sentence length… …and sentence weighting Is there enough variety of rhythm? Read it out loud!
Sentence Structure ‘So with regrets, for they are formidable players, I must dismiss the recordings of Nathaniel Rosen and Ralph Kirshbaum. They are not helpful now. The conventions to which they adhere have been exhausted of their meaning. […] Virtually everything is too loud. One laughs, but mirthlessly, at the second Bourree in the Fourth or the second Gavotte in the Sixth. What is meant to mince galumphs.’ (From Taruskin, ‘Six times Six: A Bach Suite Selection’)
Sentence Structure (bad) ‘They are formidable players, so with regrets I must dismiss the recordings of Nathaniel Rosen and Ralph Kirshbaum. They are not helpful now. The conventions to which they adhere have been exhausted of their meaning. […] Their playing is all too loud. The second Bourree in the Fourth or the second Gavotte in the Sixth makes one laugh, but mirthlessly. The mincing quality is made into a galumph.’
Voice What kind of voice are you going to use? ‘Disembodied narrator’ (‘Mozart was a composer. In 1782 he wrote an opera…’) ‘Plural’ (‘Let us consider Mozart. We know him as a composer…’) ‘First-Person’ (‘I want to talk about Mozart…’) Occasional use of second-person? (‘You know when you’ve heard a piece of Mozart’)
Voice Match your voice to what it is you want to say Most likely: ‘narrator’ or ‘we’, as these tend to fit a serious subject best Don’t be afraid to experiment a little with voice: a decent reader will excise any mismatch that results Be wary of the passive voice
Introductions Introduce ‘yourself’ (your ‘voice’) and your topic… …then your angle on your topic, perhaps with a brief consideration of current scholarship on this area Should be attention-grabbing; should generate interest in the topic
Introductions ‘The research that I have been undertaking has led me into a minefield laden with controversy shrouded in an atmosphere of near silence upon an aspect of a particular composer’s art which is at the centre of his musical creativity. My concern has been with rhythm, and the composer has been Mozart…’
Introductions ‘I would like to begin in modern-day Paris, a place that, for me, is itself not without a certain exotic resonance. And in particular, I would like to begin in the modern-day Parisian archive, where anyone looking for evidence of an interest in ‘l’Orient’ among French composers … is likely to experience the scholarly equivalent of vertigo.’
Introductions ‘Francis Poulenc was born on the threshold of the twentieth century, a century which was to see profound and unprecedented developments and changes in all aspects of human experience. During the sixty-four years of his life he was to witness two calamitous World Wars, the occupation and liberation of his homeland, huge advances in science and medicine and the development of world-wide communications.’
Introductions ‘The monopoly of the long famous “Popular concerts” exists no more, very fair rivals of these old classical concerts now exist in places a long way from the centre of London. It is all a satisfactory indication of the increasing spread of good music among our people’ The ‘Popular Concerts’ to which the anonymous author of this passage refers were those given at St. James’s Hall, Piccadilly, in the centre of London’s West End…
Introductions ‘On 28 April 1976, Paul Sacher – conductor, industrialist, and patron of music – celebrated his seventieth birthday. To mark the occasion, a number of social and musical events were held. The festivities opened on April 23 with Pierre Boulez conducting the Basel Chamber Orchestra in a concert of his own works…’
Conclusions Don’t just say what you said again! Make a succinct summary of your point (like an abstract?) A great opportunity to address anything you didn’t have space for A chance to point forward: where could you and scholarship go from here? Avoid ‘I hope’ or ‘I have tried’ sort of ending
Presenting the bibliography Arrange alphabetically by author surname Under normal circumstances do not separate books and articles Sometimes it can be helpful to organise the bibliography into sub-categories, e.g., primary and secondary sources Look for models in any published book
Presenting the bibliography Book Author or Editor, Title (Place: Publisher, Year). e.g., Cross, Jonathan, The Stravinsky Legacy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
Presenting the bibliography Article in Journal Author, ‘Article title’, Journal, Volume/Issue (Year), Start-End Pages. e.g., Jackson, Timothy L., ‘Aspects of sexuality and structure in the later symphonies of Tchaikovsky’, Music Analysis, 14/1 (1995), 3-25.
Presenting the bibliography Chapter in Book Author, ‘Chapter title’, in Editor Name (ed.), Title (Place: Publisher, Year), Start-End Pages. e.g., Kallberg, Jeffrey, ‘The problem of repetition and return in Chopin’s mazurkas’, in Jim Samson (ed.), Chopin Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 1-23.
Presenting the bibliography Online source Author, ‘Title’, Website URL (accessed Date). e.g., Williams, Bronwyn T., ‘ “A Puzzle To the Rest of Us”: Who Is a “Reader” Anyway?’ Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 47/8 ndex.asp?HREF=/newliteracies/jaal/5- 04_column_lit/index.html (accessed 10 January 2010).
The Bibliography Sample entries Albright, Daniel, Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000). Barthes, Roland, Mythologies, selected & trans. Annette Lavers (London: Vintage, 1993). Originally pub. in French (Paris: Editions de Seuil, 1957). Beard, David, ‘An analysis and sketch study of the early instrumental music of Sir Harrison Birtwistle (c.1957–77)’ (DPhil dissertation, Oxford University, 2000). _____, ‘The endless parade: competing narratives in recent Birtwistle studies’, Music Analysis, 23/1 (2004), 89–127. Courtney, Cathy (ed.), Jocelyn Herbert: a Theatre Workbook (London: Art Books International, 1993). Griffiths, Dai, ‘Genre: grammar school boy music’, repr. in Derek B. Scott (ed.), Music, Culture and Society: a Reader (Oxford: OUP, 2000), 143–
Footnotes Any specific information or ideas that are taken from other sources, whether or not you are quoting directly from them, must be fully and clearly referenced References best appear in a numbered sequence of footnotes at the foot of the relevant page. Use MS- Word function (or equivalent) to help you. [Insert>Reference>Footnote]
Footnotes Example 1 Here is the first reference in the text. 1 ‘Here is a quotation from a different text.’ 2 Then follows another reference to the first item. 3 And another. 4 ______________________________ 1. Nancy B. Reich, Clara Schumann: the Artist and the Woman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), Gerd Neuhaus (ed.), The Marriage Diaries of Robert and Clara Schumann, trans., with a preface, Peter Ostwald (London: Robson Books, 1994), Reich, Clara Schumann, Ibid.,
Examples, figures etc. Copy examples and figures clearly, and insert into the text at the most relevant point Number them clearly As your essay is for examination purposes only, you do not need to seek permission to use copyright material Make time for Sibelius!
Final tips: Remember to Read! Read as many good authors as possible (musical and non-musical) Read the work of your peers (if they’ll let you) Flick through old dissertations in the library Flick through guides to writing e.g. D. Kern Holoman, Writing about Music: A Stylesheet, 2 nd edn (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2008).
Final tips Don’t feel you must start writing at the beginning Break the project into manageable sections If you reach a block, put that part to one side and try working on a different aspect of the project Don’t be afraid to ask for help: tutors, library staff, etc. Allow plenty of time for re-drafting Allow time to read through the final version Allow enough time for final ‘assembly’ of text, inserting examples, checking references and printing Enjoy it!
FHS Dissertation For further advice, refer to your FHS handbooks These Powerpoint presentations will be available for consultation on Weblearn in Nick Attfield’s rooms