All posts by The Triangle Admin

Five tips for writing your Methodology section

I think therefore I am
Think about your Methodology carefully.

Most academics have their own approaches to examining PhDs, some will start from the conclusion and work their way back, while others will spend a huge amount of time reading your aims and then comparing them to your findings. However, what each of these academics has in common is their somewhat religious adherence to the structure and content of the methodology chapter. You must get this right.

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guilty, as charged

A lot of academics I know are in similar positions to this. Looking at this from the perspective of guilt is pretty unique though!

patter

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I’ve been thinking about guilt lately. Academic guilt. And why I seem to feel it – a lot.

The most recent guilt ridden occasion was just last weekend. The week before I’d been away for four days at a conference. I’d left home at 5 am on Tuesday and arrived back at 2 30 am on Saturday. Gah. Just the way the flights worked out. But it did mean that on Saturday I couldn’t do much more than get my laundry done. Shattered doesn’t really describe it. And on Sunday I got up quite early, blogged, did slides for two presentations I had to give on Tuesday and sorted out some urgent research project admin. That took me to a late lunch and then I stopped. Stopped but feeling guilty that I hadn’t done more.

Guilty that I hadn’t

  • responded to a colleague’s paper that I’d promised to read
  • read…

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Greetings from Bodo

Nord University Campus BODO
Nord University, Bodo

Greetings, it has been a good long few months since my last blog post and as the academic year looms fast I thought it maybe best to spruce up the old’ blog. Todays blog is all about my adventures (not really an adventure) from the 24th Nordic academy of Management (NFF conference) which this year was held at the Nord University in Norway (Arctic circle). This being my first time in Norway I am glad I bought my fleece with me, while Bodo is breathtakingly beautiful it can also get pretty cold! However I had the NFF 2017 conference to keep me warm with lively discussion on some hot topics with some of the friendliest people I have ever met.

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What are the odds of getting published?

Some good advice here and in my view the focus is always on resilience. Very useful for academics!

Milly Schmidt

How many times have you plugged the question: ‘What are the odds of getting published?’ into google? Me – an innumerable amount. There is nothing more mesmeric than seeing that ‘magic’ number of new authors who manage to score a publishing deal or literary agent in any given year. And nothing gives more of a thrill of excitement than reading the Writer’s Digest ‘How I got My Agent’ series, or the query appraisals over at Call my Agent! I am also constantly searching and devouring success stories direct from the writers themselves, like Louise Allen and Paula Weston, who both signed with literary agent Lyn Tranter in 2016 and 2011 respectively.

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Enjoying your viva

Interesting thoughts by the Thesis Whisperer. Mirrors some of my own reflections of the Viva. The key takeaway is not to panic!

The Thesis Whisperer

The Viva – a live presentation of your thesis to examiners – is not common in Australia. Our thesis examination is a blind peer review process, which has its own fears, but nothing like the anxiety that a viva can provoke. Horror stories tend to circulate, which is why I was happy to be sent this post by a student who preferred to remain anonymous.

“I had my doctoral viva. And I enjoyed it.”

Yes, what you are reading is indeed true. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my 3 3/4 hour viva voce. But it wasn’t just me. Both of my examiners also enjoyed the experience.
Why was this the case and what lessons does it hold?
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom handing in my thesis until my viva, I was overcome by a crippling state of anxiety. I had heard all of the horror stories: people having their work rubbished, examiners proclaiming…

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Interview skills for Qualitative research

Hand holding a Microphone
Interview skills. Copyright Eclat.co.uk

The majority of research in social science is carried out via a Qualitative approach, where the key research method is either the collection of multiple interviews or focus groups. These interviews are the most essential aspect of your data collection, they help you to understand the phenomenon you are studying in depth. Thus, I am often surprised to see how often researchers go into this crucial data collection process blind. Blind, in that they do very little interview rehearsals, very little time is spent running over different scenarios that may occur in an interview and finally, probably, the most crucial they spend very little time developing their interview skills.

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What is phenomenology?

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-23-06-07
“Experience by itself is not science” (Edmund Husserl)

Phenomenology, a word that strikes “fear” into the heart of every qualitative researcher. A lot of this fear is born out of a misunderstanding, a lack of knowledge and in many cases a lack of application. The direct link between phenomenology and experience however cannot be denied.

It is important at this stage to acknowledge that phenomenology is just one mechanism on the “long road” to completion, it may not be the best or the most appropriate viewpoint but as a qualitative researcher you may want to think about how it can be utilised to frame your view of the world.

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What is snowball sampling?

SnowmanThere are many many different ways to develop your sampling strategy. In the past I have spoken about some of these in detail, for example I mention and discuss from a holistic perspective  what is sampling, and why as a concept it is extremely important. In my time as an academic I have come across many proposals, articles, workshop papers and seminars which feel incomplete due to a inappropriate sampling strategy.

In a previous related blog post, I discuss a specific but popular approach of sampling know as purposive sampling, a methodological approach which develops sampling based on specific defined criteria. Judging by the numbers of views these two posts have accumulated it is clear that there is a demand for this type of discussion in a clear and concise manner. It is to this end that today I discuss another very popular method of sampling, known as snowball sampling.

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What is normal?

I think this also applies to academics who publish journals and books. Maximum exposure is essential and blogging is a tool which can help develop such an exposure.

Henry Walton

Albion77-sm “The Journals of Thaddeaus Shockpocket – ALBION 77”

To blog or not to blog? My publisher says that it is imperative to blog. Much like the ‘publish or perish’ maxim in the academic world, the modern world of the author apparently requires a blog in order to maximize exposure. I wonder what it is that makes blogs so important or, more to the point, so popular in our current culture. Well, blogs that focus on specific topics like the latest cooking trends are a great source of practical information such as new recipes and ways to prepare dishes that otherwise are simply old and tired. Movie review blogs steer me to pictures that suit my particular interests and book review blogs do similar for my reading selections.

But what about all those other blogs? Those that simply chronicle someone’s activities or their random thoughts on arbitrary topics with no rhyme or…

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Book Launch!!

51jVOu4kMKL._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_First of all I would like to send everyone my very best wishes for 2017.

I blogged a few months ago about a book chapter that I wrote for a book called“Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Working towards Decolonization, Indigeneity and Interculturalism”. As previously mentioned I am very excited that the book will be  available from January 20th 2017, you can find it on Amazon and Springer. In light of this a formal launch is being organised by the editors at a seminar in England on March 10th-11th 2017.

Please find attached a flyer with all details. If you are not able to come along but would like to be kept informed about the event and any activities that flow from it please follow the  hashtag #decolonizingteachered on twitter.

You can find the flyer about the launch here: decolonizing-teacher-education-flyer-final