Many doctoral researchers worry about what ‘original’ in original contribution to knowledge means. They worry whether their research will be seen as original enough. They worry which of the multiple ways in which original might be interpreted will be applied to their thesis.
The notion of original seems to carry with it the idea of singularity – I’ve done something fresh and unique– combined with the notion of originary – I’ve started something new here – combined with the notion of authenticity – this is all my own work, I haven’t copied it from anywhere else. Now each of these terms, applied as assessment criteria, is actually pretty unhelpful when it comes to academic work. These categories of originality might make sense for thinking about painting the Mona Lisa, or even inventing Facebook, but they don’t get very far in relation to scholarship. Let me explain.
The conclusion is one of the most important sections of the thesis, yet it is often done quite badly. This is not good because the conclusion is a key part of the text and thesis writers really need to spend some time getting it right. This is because the conclusion is the place where you argue that you have made a contribution to knowledge, where you show what it is, and where you discuss its implications. While it doesn’t have to be as long as other chapters, the conclusion does have to do the job.
It really helps here to understand what NOT to do in a thesis conclusion.
There are four common mistakes that people make in finishing off their thesis. These are:
(1) the writer goes on a laborious plod through all of the findings that have come in the chapters before. Examiners really hate this. It is…
After five long years of working on my PhD I am now near the end of the road, I have reached the write up stage. It has been a long road with a series of ups and downs and highs and lows. The key word for me throughout this process has been “resilience” and “grit”. Thats not to say that I have not enjoyed it, on the contrary I have loved doing my PhD, but you need to have steel if you ever want to finish. Doing a PhD is not easy, there were times over the last five years when the last thing I wanted to do was work on my PhD after a long days teaching and marking. However I am now at the writeup process and so close to finishing that all of a sudden I feel I have hit a brick wall!!
One of the biggest mistakes some of my undergraduate students make is to confuse the role of Nvivo in the qualitative data analysis process. Let me be clear, NVIVO is a data management tool NOT a method of analysis. Nvivo is great for organising data and helping you to make sense of it during the process of analysis.
This blog is not about how to use Nvivo, this is something that I may do in the future, it is about what are the benefits of using Nvivo for the research you are conducting.
Previously I wrote a blog post about iPad apps for research in higher education, it was a two part blog post, you can find part 1 here and part 2 here. I want to carry on with this series of blog posts but today I want to really focus on using iPad apps for increasing productivity.
As the main writer for this blog I sometimes tend to overthink things, and try to anticipate every eventuality about the blog and how it will be perceived. Hence when I first started this blog back in January I found I was overcomplicating things and I started asking myself What is my Target market? for whom am I writing this blog for? What value will this blog bring to the wider world? Will anyone read it? etc. The majority of the questions were easy to answer, the focus was and is always on PGR students, the value would be for people like me who have struggled with the intricacies of the PHD research process and who in the early days had struggled to overcome the vast leap in terminology from MSc to PHD.
Twitter as a tool has become somewhat of a cultural icon. Over the years since its inception it has morphed into a powerful tool that has caused enormous change from the Arab spring to viral pictures of cats. It has shown itself to be a useful tool across various different industries and disciplines and has caused a huge amount of disruption in areas such as print media. The same industries such as print media now also use twitter to keep it touch with members of the public for up to date information, pictures and videos and news that are occurring in real time.
In my view there is also great scope to use twitter for research, however one of the biggest issues many researchers and academics have about this medium is how can you possibly say anything of relevance within a 140 Characters. This is quite a challenge for many academics!!
This is one of life’s great mysteries and one that has troubled many a qualitative researcher. How many interviews are enough before i have enough data? What should be my sample size for Qualitative Interviews? During my research this was a issue I really struggled with and found that justifying a sample size was not an easy task and required me to juggle multiple variables.
This short post covers some of the key considerations researchers need to consider and the issue of data saturation and the sample size for Qualitative Interviews.
This blog post is all about helping you to create a Methodology approach for your Qualitative research.For many identifying and writing a research approach is a personal journey of reflection, exploration and anguish! During my PHD identifying a research approach was one of the most difficult things I achieved. This was also a common phenomena with some of the other PHD students who were also undertaking their degree at the same time as me. We struggled with every aspect of the research approach and for some it was too much.
This is the second part of a two part post which talks about essential iPad apps for Researchers and Academics. You can access the apps 1-5 outlined in the first part of the post by clicking here. This blog post covers apps 6-10.