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Research Skills - TFT00022I

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Ollie Jones
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

Through an integrated series of lectures and seminars, this module is designed to develop your research skills and to fully prepare you to write a dissertation in your final year. Over the four weeks of teaching, you will look at a range of key areas in your written work.

This will be a significant step up from your foundational work in the first year, and will introduce you to (and ask you to practically experiment with) key theoretical frameworks. It will also explore how to engage with ideas and concepts, how to develop persuasive and complex arguments and how to find, precis, and take a position on existing scholarship in your writing.

The module builds on the research skills you have developed in your first and second year, but is designed to allow you to make a crucial leap: to be able to write a tightly structured, thoroughly researched and theoretically framed dissertation in your final year. These are also key skills for your career beyond the degree course; the module will allow you to fully express yourself in written form, to be able to argue a point, to demonstrate that you understand a particular area of study, and that you can articulate and defend your standpoint within it.

The module will allow you to work practically in seminar time to hone your research skills and be able to apply this to your own writing. You will have to opportunity to apply these skills to an area of your choosing. The module will include practical exercises in which you will conduct short research tasks (such as planning a literature review or précising key arguments from an article), as well as discussions and debates around reading set for the sessions. The lectures will introduce you to key areas such as surveying and scoping research areas, and using structure, argument and rhetoric, theoretical frames, methodology, critical thinking.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

 

  • to develop students’ research skills and to fully prepare them to write a dissertation in their final year

  • to introduce students to (and ask them to practically experiment with) key theoretical frameworks

  • to develop students’ ability to engage with ideas and concepts, how to develop persuasive and complex arguments

  • to develop research strategies to find, precis, and take a position on existing scholarship in their writing

  • to allow students to fully express themselves in written form, to be able to argue a point, to demonstrate that they understand a particular area of study, and that they can articulate and defend their standpoint within it

  • to provide time in seminars for students to work practically to hone their research skills and be able to apply this to their own writing

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

- identify and critically engage with key concepts in existing research

- precis an argument in existing research

- use appropriate research skills to draft a list of useful and relevant sources for their chosen research

- write a short literature review which demonstrates their ability to fully research a field of scholarship

- apply appropriate research techniques and methodologies to explore their chosen area

- confidently use a wide range of resources to find appropriate research (databases, archives, e-resources, library holdings etc.

- articulate their own thoughts clearly, and to use the work of others to contextualise and frame this

employ, and where appropriate, adapt and develop, theoretical frameworks in their writing

Module content

Through an integrated series of lectures and seminars, this module is designed to develop your research skills and to fully prepare you to write a dissertation in your final year. Over the four weeks of teaching, you will look at a range of key areas in your written work. This will be a significant step up from your foundational work in the first year, and will introduce you to (and ask you to practically experiment with) key theoretical frameworks. It will also explore how to engage with ideas and concepts, how to develop persuasive and complex arguments and how to find, precis, and take a position on existing scholarship in your writing.

 

The module builds on the research skills you have developed in your first and second year, but is designed to allow you to make a crucial leap: to be able to write a tightly structured, thoroughly researched and theoretically framed dissertation in your final year. These are also key skills for your career beyond the degree course; the module will allow you to fully express yourself in written form, to be able to argue a point, to demonstrate that you understand a particular area of study, and that you can articulate and defend your standpoint within it.

 

The module will allow you to work practically in seminar time to hone your research skills and be able to apply this to your own writing. You will have to opportunity to apply these skills to an area of your choosing. The module will include practical exercises in which you will conduct short research tasks (such as planning a literature review or précising key arguments from an article), as well as discussions and debates around reading set for the sessions. The lectures will introduce you to key areas such as surveying and scoping research areas, and using structure, argument and rhetoric, theoretical frames, methodology, critical thinking.

 

Your work on the module will be assessed by a 2,500 word literature review in which you explore a limited number of publications (for example, five scholarly articles) on a particular theme. The literature review will analyse the recent interventions/historical lineage/new directions of scholarship within an area agreed with the module tutor which you wish to pursue. This form of writing is a key component in most books and articles, and so the assessment is a ‘real world’ challenge for academic writers.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
2,500 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
2,500 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written feedback on all assessments and reassessments, as well as oral feedback on formative work in the taught sessions.

Indicative reading

Cottrell, Stella (2011) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Feak, Christine B.; Swales, John M., (2009) Telling a research story: writing a literature review. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

 

Fortier, Mark. (2016) Theory/Theatre: An Introduction. 3rd ed. Abingdon: Routledge.

 

Greetham, Bryan (2014) How to write your undergraduate dissertation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Kershaw, Baz. Nicholson, Helen (2011) Research methods in theatre and performance. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

 

Taylor, Gordon (1989) The student's writing guide for the arts and social sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.