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Week 5: Notes on Assessment, Research Models

In tonight’s lecture, Paul provided a detailed outline of the annotated bibliography assessment and developed a research model using a Second Life doco about male restroom etiquette. We were also given an insight into his own thesis and how we used the framework process.

First, the annotated bibliography…

Why do we write an annotated bibliography?
• to demonstrate the quality and depth of your research sources.
• to provide you practice in evaluating your references.
• to organise useful sources for your research (and eliminate those that are not useful or related).
• to help you hone in on your research topic/question.
• to be proficient in the Harvard referencing style.

What’s the difference between a regular bibliography and an annotated bibliography?
• a regular bibliography involves a list of sources
• an annotated bibliography includes an overview and critical evaluation of the book/article, written in full sentences, includes assessment of usefulness.
• these should all be scholarly references (i.e. no magazine articles or blogs!)

What does it involve?
• 8-10 annotated references, 200 words each!

What must it include? (Try to put as much of this into 200 words.)
• bibliographic citation (Harvard style).
• background of the author(s) – e.g. what discipline, “Cultural theorist, Sinclair outlines…”
• content or scope of the text (its place in the wider scope of research).
• main/key argument.
• intended audience.
• research method (if applicable).
• the conclusions made, if any.

How will it be graded?
• how the text adds to the research field.
• relevance or usefulness of text to your research.
• if the info is logical, well researched.
• if it is broad and balanced.

A sample can be found at: http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/onlib/annotated_bib.html
Reference them in this order:
1. Citation
2. Introduction
3. Aims and research methods
4. Scope
5. Usefulness to your research topic
6. Limitations
7. Conclusions
8. Reflections (explain how this works helps/fits with your research)

Developing models (three levels):
• theoretical – big ideas out there, everyone’s talking about it, i.e. what are some of the big theories about globalisation?
• conceptual – identifying all your terms, i.e. use of blogging to construct identity – how is it constructed, what are the social forces, how do people do this themselves, what is an institution, what is agency, what is blogging?
• operational – now that you understand the big questions, how does this affect the way you’re going to approach the question, how does this influence my method?

Example: “What can humour say about the crisis of masculinity?’ – The case of ‘Male Restroom Etiquette’



Theoretical framework:

• ideas, debates, schools of thought
• issues of violence
• theories of masculinity – gender studies, queer studies
• cultural literacy
• behavioural studies – norms, etiquette, appropriate behaviours
• humour – what makes something funny? Why do we use it – to make a point?

Conceptual framework:

• definitions, points of interest, things that need exploration
• crisis, etiquette, masculinity, humour – again, what makes something funny?
• concepts that are involved in your particular case, i.e. YouTube, video production, video humour, animation

Operational framework:
• ideas about approaching the subject
• tools that you’ll use – what will you be engaging with, what methods do you employ?
• audience research – did you find it funny, was it accurate, what do you think about masculinity?
• textual analysis – how do people glean information from a text, what in this video is actually funny/why/what is it about our understandings of masculinity that makes if funny? “It’s funny because it’s true”? – points to the ‘elephant in the room’, things that are “glaringly obvious”.

Paul’s thesis: “How do those in the emerging church conversation use blogging to construct communal identities?”

Theoretical:
• web 2.0 rhetoric – is this the reality?
• talking about religion outside of authoritative structures – things people could not say in church.
• is Australia truly a secular society?
• what is the role of religion in Australians’ lives?

Conceptual:
• blogging – what, how, what does it offer?
• emerging church – questions, who’s in, who’s out?
• identity and reflexive process within spheres of social interaction

Operational:

• research blogs, which to look at, find sample
• how are people using blogs to construct their identities – what do people say in blogs, what they say in comments, how are they designing their webpages, why have they been attracted to blogs in the first place?
• the way people talk about the ’emerging church’ – what do they say about particular issues, rules of conduct?
• interviews, discourse, analysis

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