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Reading and writing critically for PhD Tracy Simmons BDRA Research Day.

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Presentation on theme: "Reading and writing critically for PhD Tracy Simmons BDRA Research Day."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reading and writing critically for PhD Tracy Simmons BDRA Research Day

2 Thinking critical What do we mean by critical….. Academia and academics as autonomous, ‘free agents’ to question, conduct research without interference. Peer review systems based on critical feedback (anonymous), hierarchical system. All academics no matter how special, important or great, face critical appraisal, peer review and feedback. Research framed in terms of ‘rigor’.

3 Reading critically Critical skills are seen as an essential part of being a researcher, an academic. But also as citizens the ability to be critical and apply critical analysis to information is seen as a key skill. Reading: narrowing down established data related to your topic, models/paradigms, theoretical frameworks. Context!

4 Mind the gap… Gaps….are there gaps, areas that are unexplored. This can be the spur for your own critical engagement with the literature. Theoretical limitations/gaps, empirical* or out of date models Evidence Don’t just dismiss- what can these insights however limited help you in terms of your own research design and conceptualisation? Selective, what work helps advance your research?

5 Reading Evaluation of the ideas, range of research What are the arguments* made Key themes Where are they coming from (disciplinary tradition/approach) Position* Geographical location, country specific focus*? Interpretation of the material Know your field.

6 Reading into Writing From description to analysis Synthesis Developing your own argument –finding a voice Evidence-your own data Theoretical framework Methodological rigor, research design Rational e.g. sample size

7 Writing Forms and modes to develop your own critical writing Book reviews Shorter dialogue pieces Shorter position papers, discussion papers Conference papers Conference presentations Working papers

8 Final reflections It is through testing your ideas and arguments you can further strengthen the critical strains of your work. Supervisor, research communities, peers, conferences, seminars and workshops. Keep reading. The more you articulate your research the better it gets! Editing, critical reflection, being reflexive. It is not a linear process!

9 What they say… http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/careers/ld/resource s/writing/writing-resources/critical-reading http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/careers/ld/resource s/writing/writing-resources/critical-reading Tony-Wallace and Wray http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/Book226896 Wellington J., Bathmaker A., Hunt C., McCulloch G. and Sikes P. (2005). Succeeding with your doctorate. London: Sage. Oliver, P. (2008) Writing Your Thesis 2 nd ed. London, Sage.

10 I like: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23564/ http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23564/1/Converging_traditions _of_research_on_media_and_information_literacies_( LSERO).pdf http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23564/1/Converging_traditions _of_research_on_media_and_information_literacies_( LSERO).pdf This chapter provides an overview based on clusters of research around media literacy Historical context Themes Gaps There own argument and approach to media literacy.


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