sound scholarship

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My slides from the 2012 doctoral study school

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  • 1. Sound Scholarship What does it look like? How do you do it?
  • 2. The Story Arc End Knowledge Claim Beginning Significance Plot Warrant Most works of fiction have multiple arcs. Scholarly writing tends to have a single arc
  • 3. 3 Act structure Act 1 Context and literature. Establishes the importance of your research questions Act 2 Methodology and data. Develops your plot. Your characters deal with the phenomenon. Act 3 Dicussion and conclusion. Here the consequences and implications of your characters are brought home
  • 4. Exercise On the index cards write down a topic that you are interested in researching. Pass it to your neighbour. The neighbour then explains what the significance of your topic is to them.
  • 5. Keeping an open mind Do you ever buy a newspaper with a political viewpoint opposed to your own? If you did, how would you assess the content?
  • 6. Judging an argumentA bit of light relief (with a serious point)
  • 7. Argument Argument is essential to sound scholarship An argument is a series of premises leading to a conclusion. A conclusion can itself be a premise. If the premises do not lead logically to the conclusion the argument is said to be invalid
  • 8. Valid and invalid arguments My friend told me the moon is made of cheese. As far as I know the moon is made of cheese. My friend told me the moon is made of cheese. Actually its made of rock. Which of the above is a valid argument and which is invalid? And which would be better scholarship?
  • 9. Evidence Two types of evidence are essential to your thesis Evidence from the literature Evidence from your data collection. Im going to concentrate on the literature, because reading critically is the first step to writing critically.
  • 10. Warrant Warrant means justification. The first of the arguments about the moon did have warrant (albeit extremely weak). The second did not. In your work all your arguments must be clearly warranted. Most warrant is supplied by evidence. Some warrant can be supplied by logic
  • 11. Collecting evidence
  • 12. Quotation Students often ask how much they should quote other sources. As much as necessary, but not a letter more, even in the literature review.
  • 13. Turnitin
  • 14. Act 1 The hardest part of your doctorate by a country mile! Significance Warrant Evidence Argument Originality
  • 15. Act 2 Act 1 builds the foundations for your plot development because it:- Informs your paradigm choice. Informs your methodology. Informs your data collection Which is why the defence is your hardest assignment. If you get act 1 right, Act 2 should write itself. (well, almost!)
  • 16. Act 3 A repeat of Act 1, but this time, youre the reader. Go through your work sentence by sentence. Is everything you say warranted? If it isnt what is it doing in your thesis? But, remember the arc youre on the downhill slope now!
  • 17. Writing Style You will be expected to write in an academic style. (However, dont try to mimic authors you have read.) Avoid rhetoric, value judgements, and dont use an authors academic pedigree to warrant their claims. Try and take a neutral tone, but use first person where it feels appropriate.
  • 18. ReferencingCUNY (2011) http://commons.gc.cuny.edu. Accessed 30/3/2011.Disability Discrimination Act, (1995) London, HMSOEducation For Change Ltd, The Research Partnership and SociaL InformaticsResearch Unit, University of Birmingham, 2005. Study of Environments to support Elearning in UK further and Higher Education: A supporting Study for the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). JISC. London: .Ford, P.et.al. 1996. Managing change in higher education a learning environmentarchitecture. Buckingham: Open University Press.Groom, J. and Lamb, B., 2010. Never mind the Edupunks or, the Great Word CountSwindle. Educause review, 45(4), 50-58.Essentially a reference has three parts.1 Creator 2) Description 3) Location informationYou can sometimes include a reference without a creator but the other two parts must be present.
  • 19. Recap Youre telling a story in three acts. In the beginning you have to get people to read it. (Significance) In the middle you have to keep people reading. (This data justifies me (i.e. the reader) finding out more) At the end you have to suggest to the reader what should be done about it.