Developing your Research Project (FutureLearn)

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  • Dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants - etched on £2 coin
  • building on other scholars works - making original - but not adrift - a good project looks at work of previous + building on views
  • My curiosity was triggered when I happened to read about a failed insurance claim for lost cargo destroyed in the fire on the ship Fame in 1824, which was sailing from Southeast Asia to London. I began looking into the procedure for such claims and the sheer mundanity and tedium of the process fascinates me.
  • Transferable skills - selfawareness, initiative, committment, numeracy, leadership, teamwork, etc
  • make a checklist
  • make a learning/research log
  • talk to as many people as possible
  • find out if it has been done by someone else already
  1. Subject eg History
  2. Theme eg US foreign policy
  3. Context eg Counterterrorism under Clinton 1993-2001
  4. Topic (should have debate potential)
  5. Research questions (will reveal if it is viable in its process, and help you gather up information to prove the hypothesis)
  6. Draft hypothesis (broad enough but also narrow to be managable)
  • keep track of changes of how you changed your mind in the process and keep it in the research log
  • A piece of advice I saw given to PhD candidates online read: “Finding some early-modern English laundry lists would not suffice on its own to justify writing a PhD thesis about them.” As the beginning point of my own research also starts with something as simple as a list, it is worth noting that not all laundry lists are unworthy of further research, and it is not the “quotidian” nature of laundry lists which renders most laundry lists useless, for the quotidian is radical in its antimonumentality and similarity to everyday life, and can be used to raise important questions about the connections between art, epic expeditions, and and everyday life.
  • For several years I have been interested in cargo manifests, lists from archaeological digs, and museum inventories - commonly archived material documents that are mainly concerned with documenting the physical aspects of objects, artefacts, or pieces of cargo which may be in transit. These manifests exist in order to provide a practical guide for the visual identification of a physical object, and taken at face value, these manifests may seem to lack depth. But when activated by human eyes, these lists offer an opportunity for a range of readings, which can be used as the starting point for artistic speculations on the histories and geographies.
  • I decided to go through this MOOC because I felt that fine art practice-as-research still hasn't prepared me sufficiently for doing the more focused, academic historical research I wanted to do. Reading people's work at different stages of their formulation, some of them at a painfully early stage and very general level, was helpful as it reminded me once again about the issue of scope and what constitutes an acceptable scope for research at different academic levels (undergrad, postgrad, doctorate).
  • There is a well-known adage called Sturgeon’s Law, which states something similar to ‘90% of everything is rubbish.’ The American science fiction writer and critic, Theodore Sturgeon coined this adage in defence of science fiction, which was often derided for its low quality by its critics. Sturgeon argued that all other fields had similar levels of low quality material. You gotta filter out the shieeeeeeeeeet.
  • that said whilst laundry list get a bad rep i think they are the shieeeeeeeet
  • EXPLODING SEARCH TERMS - highlight words
  • keep in mind access and language
  • if you talk about impact, it needs to be measurable.
  • make a table of why you chose this method to solve something - what sources of information would answer your question best? don't discriminate or cut off your options. make a chart of why you chose the method over others and also consider what bias is inherent.
  • don't be ashamed to skim read
  • parts of an argument:
  1. A claim refers to the writer's opinion or position regarding the matter being written about. This is not factual but debatable and so needs to be argued.
  2. Data relates to the evidence that is used by the writer to support their claim. This may be factual or contain reference to specific examples.
  3. Justification refers to the writer's interpretation of the facts or circumstances. It links the data with the claim in the argument.
  • A rule of ‘if in doubt, reference’ is a useful one to employ; if someone or something has influenced your thinking or argument in any way you must acknowledge it.

  • Barbara McClintock - Who's that woman who sat in a corn field for thirty years doing butt all except document her corn and then wrote an amazing paper that changed science forever? I keep remembering that when people jibber jabber about new whatevers of enquiry but can never recall her name. -
  • Why would you repost a pic. This thing, this sense of belongingness, this sensation of identity, it is tether and chain. Used only to puppet you. Sever it.