DISSERTATION TIME PEOPLE. ‘What?’ you say, ‘but you’re 2nd year? You don’t do your dissertation until Level 6 in Year 3?’ Actually, the kind academics at Sheffield Hallam University have decided to prepare us for our dissertations in a handy little module called Research for the Media… and I couldn’t be happier (you weren’t expecting that were you?).
In BA Media we can choose to write a typical 6,000 word dissertation or create an applied project. This is independent, self-directed work assessed in Semester 2 in Year 3. We are supervised by an Academic Tutor. It is up to us the choice of topic and approach but we must have the ethics approved.
For my own project, I want to write a typical written dissertation. I don’t have a topic in mind at the moment, but I really enjoyed doing textual analysis last semester and would like to do something including that, especially if it involves Critical Discourse Analysis, which I have become surprisingly confident at.
With that introduction done, in our first workshop today, we were asked what our personal philosophy was. Myself and my course mate Shannon agreed that the thing we believed in most was being happy. We try to live in a way where happiness is most important and prioritised for ourselves and those around us. When life tries to knock us down and things go wrong, we are tested and our happiness is tested but these are the things that help us grow; developing our strength and resilience.
In regards to writing our dissertations, I used this as a metaphor in that we may be motivated to write but something may go wrong, or we may get fed up and get knocked down and decide to give up on the dissertation. What is important is that we continue to pick ourselves up and push through until we finish those 6,000 words.
Always do ‘One More Thing, One More Time’ (Josh Sundquist – Motivational Speaker, Amputee, Author and Paralympian).
What skills and knowledge do you need to carry out a successful research project?
- Organization skills
- Time management
- The ability to meet and set goals/ deadlines
- The ability to work under pressure
- Crisis management
- Adaptability and flexibility
- The ability to work independently, using your initiative
- The ability to stay motivated and interested
- High levels of enthusiasm
- The ability to reflect
- Problem solving skills
- Skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis
- The ability to review and critique
- Teamwork skills
- Social/people skills
- Listening skills
- Reading skills
- Communication skills (verbal and written)
- Presentation skills
- Editing/proofreading skills
- Interviewing skills
- Questioning skills (written and verbal)
- The ability to empathize/support others
- The ability to establish rapport
- IT skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- Numerical skills (budgeting and costing)
- Data analysis skills
- Knowing how to use datasets and databases
- Experience of using primary and secondary sources
- The ability to develop aims and objectives
- Knowledge of research methods
- Knowledge of research methodology
- An understanding of theoretical frameworks
- An understanding of the relationship between epistemology , theoretical perspective and methodology
- The ability to choose a good workable topic
- The ability to work well with your supervisor