Introduction to the unit and dissertation

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An overview of the session last Friday (22nd January) for FdA/FdSc Animation, Contextual Studies, Level 2.

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  • OVERVIEW OF THE UNIT – the piece of work we want you to produce this term, a 2,000 word 'practice' dissertation or a piece of detailed research (set out as a disseration) on an aspect of the industry which is 2,000 words long. If you are going into industry and leaving Ravensoburne, research the area of the industry you want to find work in (what companies are hiring, what work are they doing, what is there place in the industry, what is there future strategy and what can you therefore offer them?).
  • Hints on how to structure a dissertation/piece of academic writing. Academic writing is arguing a case… Deciding on a topic Taking a position (having an opinion), Finding out the facts, Having a theory about the topic (the man was killed in the library by…) You then make a case to support your theory Building on other people’s theories (big ideas – get from books) You collect the evidence (facts from good sources e.g. books, websites etc etc – secondary data) Or you do an experiment i.e. you collect your own data (interviews or via a questionnaire) – primary data. You summarise the case (for the reader aka the judge) And you make your closing remarks – your conclusion
  • Academic writing is always PEER REVIEWED – what does that mean? Specialists in the field judge the evidence and the quality of that evidence and see if they agree with your FINDINGS Academics who peer review academic PAPERS (as dissertations are called in academia) are experts in their field…they are like subject judges if you like.
  • Academia came from the early debating schools where philosophical ideas were discussed – this is Plato’s School Plato's School, 1st c. BCE mosaic from Pompeii, 124.545. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Napoli. Courtesy, Soprintendenza Archeologica delle Province di Napoli e Caserta.   Philosophers debating by "the tree against which young Phaedrus leaned." Philosophers debated issues – the Roman Senate was a debate (democracy)
  • Academia , Acadème , or the Academy are collective terms for the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research . The word comes from the akademeia , just outside ancient Athens , where the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning. The sacred space, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Athena , had formerly been an olive grove , hence the expression "the groves of Academe.“ By extension Academia has come to connote the cultural accumulation of knowledge , its development and transmission across generations and its practitioners and transmitters. In the 17th century, British and French religious scholars popularized the term to describe certain types of institutions of higher learning. The British adopted the form academy , while the French adopted the forms acadème and académie . An academic is a person who works as a researcher (and usually teacher) at a university , college , or similar institution in post-secondary (tertiary) education. He or she is nearly always an advanced degree holder.
  • What is your argument?
  • What evidence will you provide to support your argument? Books Websites Interviews Pamphlets Newspaper articles or stories Blogs TV programmes Radio programmes
  • How do you show your work is based on good, hard, evidence? Say where you got your facts from
  • Researching a topic - where to start
  • How to manage your dissertation (time, filing, note-taking, mind-maps)
  • Harvard referencing (Endnote and RefWorks).
  • tell us all about the topic you are thinking of doing for your dissertation. It can be about ANYTHING you wish to write about, but pick something which will help you in your future career. If you are staying on for a third year, pick a topic which can build a good argument and which has a good question to answer (the basis of academic work).
  • Introduction to the unit and dissertation

    1. 1. Contextual Studies Animation, Level 2
    2. 2. Today you will get… <ul><li>   * A revised overview of the unit (as we have lost one week due to the snow).    * Assessment and what will be assessed.    * A revised timetable.    * Hints on how to structure a dissertation/piece of academic writing.    * Good/bad sources for your research.    * Researching a topic - where to start    * How to manage your dissertation (time, filing, note-taking, mind-maps)    * Harvard referencing (Endnote and RefWorks). </li></ul>
    3. 3. If you haven't' got a topic then you can pick one of the following practice dissertation topics: 1. The 3D film 'Avatar' is considered innovative by many producers and film critics, to the extent that some critics are saying this is the biggest innovation in film-making since the arrival of the 'talkies'. Do you agree or disagree ? 2. 3D films are not new; trace the history of 3D films and say why audiences and producers continue to be interested in 3D. 3. Consider any aspect of 3D content (e.g. 3D gaming, 3D used in marketing and communications) which you find interesting and assess whether you think it's a radical new direction or a flash in the pan.
    4. 4. Timetable <ul><li>Friday 15 th January – reprise of task + dissertation plan research and writing (1400-1500) </li></ul><ul><li>Friday 22 nd – self-directed study </li></ul><ul><li>Friday 29 th – Research techniques (2 x case studies and good sources) and verbally students present their ideas formative assessment (10.00-12.30) </li></ul><ul><li>Friday 5 th February – self-directed study </li></ul><ul><li>Friday 12 th & Friday 19th February – summative assessment with Freddie Gaffney </li></ul>
    5. 6. Academic writing is… <ul><li>Deciding on a topic </li></ul><ul><li>Taking a position (having an opinion), </li></ul><ul><li>Finding out the facts, </li></ul><ul><li>Having a theory about the topic (the man was killed in the library by…) </li></ul><ul><li>You then make a case to support your theory </li></ul><ul><li>Building on other people’s theories (big ideas – get from books) </li></ul><ul><li>You collect the evidence (facts from good sources e.g. books, websites etc etc – secondary data) </li></ul><ul><li>Or you do an experiment i.e. you collect your own data (interviews or via a questionnaire) – primary data. </li></ul><ul><li>You summarise the case (for the reader aka the judge) </li></ul><ul><li>And you make your closing remarks – your conclusion </li></ul>
    6. 7. PEER REVIEWED QUALITY OF THE DATA FINDINGS BIASED OR INFLUENCED OR…OBJECTIVE… SCIENTIFIC? ACADEMIC PAPERS JOURNALS
    7. 8. Source: Plato's School, 1st c. BCE mosaic from Pompeii, 124.545. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Napoli.
    8. 9. Academia , Acadème , or the Academy are collective terms for the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research . The word comes from the akademeia , just outside ancient Athens , where the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning. The sacred space, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Athena , had formerly been an olive grove , hence the expression &quot;the groves of Academe.“ Academia - the cultural accumulation of knowledge , its development and transmission across generations and its practitioners and transmitters. In the 17th century, British and French religious scholars popularized the term to describe certain types of institutions of higher learning. An academic is a person who works as a researcher (and usually teacher) at a university , college , or similar institution in post-secondary (tertiary) education. He or she is nearly always an advanced degree holder.
    9. 10. Structure <ul><li>Title of the essay </li></ul><ul><li>What is the question you want to answer? </li></ul><ul><li>Introductory paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>First theme (intro, dev, conclude) </li></ul><ul><li>Second theme (intro, dev, conclude) </li></ul><ul><li>Third theme (intro, dev, conclude) </li></ul><ul><li>Draw together the themes </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
    10. 11. Theory and your topic <ul><li>Look at your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Look at the themes </li></ul><ul><li>What is the overall theme? </li></ul><ul><li>Does that theme suggest there is an idea or theory which might be common? </li></ul><ul><li>How might that theory help you? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the great thinkers associated with your topic? </li></ul><ul><li>What theoretical position did they take? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you agree with them? </li></ul>
    11. 14. Sources! References
    12. 15. Harvard Referencing Book: Surname, first name, (year), Book Title, (Edition), Place of Publication, Publisher Website: Name of person, URL, organisation, accessed, date And useful resources: Using the Library for writing dissertations: http://intranet.rave.ac.uk/support/images/Dissresearchforweb.pdf Assessing the quality of websites as a source http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/detective/
    13. 16. Sources <ul><li>Good sources </li></ul><ul><li>Peer Reviewed academic books and journals </li></ul><ul><li>Broadsheet newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>Major broadcasters </li></ul><ul><li>Some websites </li></ul><ul><li>Government reports </li></ul><ul><li>Suspect sources </li></ul><ul><li>Tabloids </li></ul><ul><li>Gossip magazines </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial websites </li></ul><ul><li>Consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Popular books </li></ul><ul><li>Articles which don’t give their sources </li></ul><ul><li>Any media which doesn’t give their sources </li></ul>
    14. 21. Common errors in academic writing… <ul><li>Language (Their/there) </li></ul><ul><li>Spelling (mite/might) </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid emotive words when you are explaining (fantastic, wonderful, tragic) – they are not objective. </li></ul><ul><li>Finishing with a big sign-off </li></ul><ul><li>Repetition of words </li></ul><ul><li>Spell check! </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid padding </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuation… </li></ul><ul><li>. Full stop…use? </li></ul><ul><li>, Comma? </li></ul><ul><li>; Semi-colon? </li></ul><ul><li>: Colon? </li></ul>

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