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Secondary Literature Review Workshop

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1 Secondary Literature Review Workshop
Research Methods (LT901) Secondary Literature Review Workshop

2 Works commenting on primary sources; critical materials
Produced by the author(s) of the works you are studying, or other data direct from source Secondary Sources Works commenting on primary sources; critical materials

3 Choosing a Topic From an interest to a topic Example: film – world cinema – theme of exile Narrow it down Example: the representation of exile in the work of three contemporary Iranian filmmakers Make it neither too general nor too specific too broad: World Cinema and the Condition of Exile too specific: The Impact of the Hand-held Camera on the Representation of Exile in one Iranian Film

4 What your dissertation needs:
Title & scope (should have limiting factors, e.g. particular set of texts, authors, genres, theoretical issues, period of study, geographical area) Context (why is this topic interesting/relevant now? What other work has been done in this area?) Inquiry: research questions or a set of problems to investigate Methodology A mode of argument Evidence to support your argument Structure: an abstract,contents page, acknowledgements, Introduction, chapters, conclusion, bibliography

5 Research Questions Try to ask new / different questions
Questions give your research purpose and direction Start with ‘who, what, where, when’ (facts), but move on to ‘how’ and ‘why’ (analysis) Looking at other people’s research questions might help you formulate your own You might not necessarily get direct answers to your question - instead, maybe, a set of answers

6  Topic Initial research questions
Ideas for sources to be consulted (Which existing areas will you need to look at? Which keywords might you search under in your library / database search?) Reading for secondary literature review Refine research questions

7 Selecting texts You need to have a rationale for both the primary and secondary literature you use. Primary texts – what will be your criteria for selection? The most representative, best known, unjustly neglected texts... Choose the texts that will help you to build your argument The Secondary Literature Review sets out your rationale for which critical works you will use and why they will help you to further your research.

8 Where to start? Look at: The most recent books/articles For articles
Read abstract first For books Read blurb & contents page, introduction & index, to see what the book includes & what it leaves out Read conclusion for a summary of the argument Try to judge how important the work is in its field, against what you already know Establish which are the key interventions in the field Take notes when reading & keep a record of the bibliographical details of your sources (save you having to find them later!)

9 Definition of ‘Peer Review’
Academic journal articles and books are usually peer-reviewed This means that the quality of the work has been acknowledged by experts in the field, and the research findings deemed reliable, prior to publication

10 Some examples of peer-reviewed film journals
Screen Camera Obscura Cinema Journal Film Quarterly Journal of Popular Film and Television Literature/Film Quarterly Velvet Light Trap: Critical Journal of Film and Television Senses of Cinema (online) Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies

11 Referencing Your bibliography / list of secondary sources must follow academic conventions There is no universal system, but whatever you do you must be consistent in the style you adopt: preferably, follow the style guide in the MA booklet (based on Chicago Style) Or, another recognized scholarly format such as MLA or Harvard

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