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MA and MSc: Analysis, Critiquing Strategies and Synthesis This workshop will: PowerPoint Presentation
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MA and MSc: Analysis, Critiquing Strategies and Synthesis This workshop will:

MA and MSc: Analysis, Critiquing Strategies and Synthesis This workshop will:

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MA and MSc: Analysis, Critiquing Strategies and Synthesis This workshop will:

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  1. MA and MSc: • Analysis, Critiquing Strategies and Synthesis • This workshop will: • Teach you about the core concept of analysis • Offer a process model of synthesis and how to achieve it • Provide insights into critiquing and offer initial strategies • Provide opportunities to begin practising your analytical skills Louise Livesey Academic Skills Adviser

  2. Today’s plan • What analysis is • How to be critical • Critiquing tools • What synthesis is

  3. 1.What analysis is • Analysis: asking questions about how something works. • Deconstruct a ‘thing’ (concept, theory, or object) to look at its component parts and consider how they inter-relate. • ‘shallow’ descriptive questions: • what? • where? • who? • when? • ‘deeper’ questions look at the relationship between a thing’s constituent parts: • how? • why? • what if?

  4. 1.What analysis is TALKING POINT and Activity 1: Lateral thinking puzzles Devising questions to obtain answers for new angles and connections

  5. 2.How to be critical • Being critical: asking questions about how something relates to the wider world. • Experience + knowledge + reading evaluation and judgement • ‘deepest’ questions relate to what the implications of the something are • so what? • what next? • Involves: • Identifying positions, arguments and conclusions • Spotting if the evidence can support alternative points of view • Weighing up opposing arguments and evidence fairly • Drawing conclusions about whether arguments are valid and justifiable • Being able to read between the lines, seeing behind surfaces, and identifying false or unfair assumptions • Identifying flaws, gaps or other weaknesses • Recognising techniques used to make certain positions more appealing than • Presenting a point of view in a structured, clear, well-reasoned way that convinces others

  6. 2.How to be critical • Analysisof Manchester United’s success: • Most Premier league wins = 13 • Most FA Cup wins = 11 • Highest number of top flight wins = 20 • UEFA Champions League Cup wins = 1 • UEFA Cupwinners Cup wins = 1 • Intercontinental Cup wins = 1 • Various reasons proposed after research • To critique: • Evaluate against other successful teams by looking at their records and possible reasons for their success. • Come to a conclusions and possibly make a final decision

  7. 2.How to be critical Spectacles are the best method to correct myopia (short-sightedness) for children under 10 as they are easily accessible and cheap. TALKING POINT Activity 2: Higher Education learning should be exclusively E-learning. The days of ‘the sage on the stage’ or even ‘the guide by the side’ are gone. It’s now ‘tutor on the ‘puter’ Questions to answer: What is the basic proposition/s?   Do you have any issues with it? What other questions could you ask? How would you evaluate? Possible conclusions?

  8. 2.How to be critical • Assess what the sources are ‘worth’: their value to the general area under discussion and judge the merits of a source based on its: • provenance • reliability • applicability to a particular research focus   • Understand where knowledge comes from and why it has been generated rather than just what has been produced. • Motivation: what is behind the publication of a journal article or report? • Ideology: literature may be aimed at and written from within an ideological circle which is unlikely to ‘see’ other viewpoints. • Context of the community a text has been written for and from • Context of the research field it contributes to

  9. 2.How to be critical Just deliverer Context Student Support Higher Education Education Western liberal world view – bias?

  10. 3.Critiquing tools Amethodicalprocedure to work through articles and record your responses. These tools have question prompts or criteria to critically analyse research studies, so you will… A) understand how research is done and what it has found out B) assess the quality of research by questioning what has been written

  11. 3.What synthesis is Don’t panic About developing your own opinions and arguments, NEW KNOWLEDGE, out of the ideas, debates, arguments, theories and points of view of others you have read about, EXISTING KNOWLEDGE. It is choosing what is relevant, linking it/them to other elements, and interpreting it/them into something new. It is not simply summarising.

  12. 3.What synthesis is TALKING POINT 1.Defenders of the war saw the conflict in terms of the forces of evil (communism) against the forces of good (freedom). Supporters of intervention believed that to refuse aid was to abandon the peaceful and democratic nation of South Vietnam to “communist enslavement” (“Public Hearings” 977). President Johnson painted a picture of a “small and brave” nation beleaguered by communist aggression. The president asked “only that the people of South Vietnam be allowed to guide their country in their own way” (Johnson, ”War Aims” 976). Congress had already agreed;…in 1964, it accused the communists of carrying out an unprovoked attack on American naval vessels and said that this attack was only part of a larger attack on the “freedom” of the South (971). Some of the fighting men tended to see the war in [the same] black-and-white terms… After witnessing some brutalities committed by the Viet Cong, one soldier wrote: “Those slobs have to be stopped, even if it takes every last believer in a democracy and a free way of life to do it” (“War of Atrocities” 974). Point of the paragraph: America was sure that its military intervention in South Vietnam was morally right.

  13. 3.What synthesis is Activity 3: More American involvement in Viet Nam 2.Both Johnson and Congress insisted that the United States had no “territorial, military or political ambitions.” In addition to saving the grateful South Vietnamese, a million of whom had “voted with their feet against communism” (Public Hearings” 977), America was reaffirming the world’s faith in its resolve. The free peoples of the world were counting on America to defend South Vietnam, said Johnson (“War Aims” 975-76), and to abandon Vietnam would be to shake their confidence in America and her word. “The price of withdrawal would be the freedom of fourteen million people, the honor of our own country and eventually, the security of the free world,” said a Young Americans for Freedom representative in 1965 (“Public Hearings” 976). Point of the paragraph: The official position was that America was acting out of purely altruistic means.

  14. 3.What synthesis is Activity 3: More American involvement in Viet Nam continued 3.[South Vietnam] had been independent only since 1956; and Ho Chi Minh was not trying to conquer new territory but to reunify the recently divided nation of Vietnam. The American view of communist “aggression” is given an interesting perspective by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who pointed out that to the Chinese the United States appeared to be the aggressor. The question “of who the aggressor is depends a good deal on who looks through what glass and how darkly, he argued (978). South Vietnam was no bastion of democracy, either. The South Vietnamese government did not hold promised democratic elections in 1956 because it knew that the communists had popular support in the country. Even the government admitted that South Vietnam’s political situation was “deeply serious” with “repressive actions” frequently being committed (“U.S. Policy on Vietnam” 128). The American-supported Diem government was so unpopular that widespread protests against it led to a successful coup in 1963… United States was defending South Vietnam against the will of much of the population, and American motives were not as selfless or benevolent as the government claimed: the containment of communism is certainly a territorial and political ambition of sorts, and Congress viewed the security of South Vietnam as “vital” to American national interest. [The United States] was concerned mainly with defeating the communists at all costs, even if the country it was supposed to be defending was destroyed in the process. Point of the paragraph: In reality, the position of the United States was impractical and doomed to failure. South Vietnam was not the free state threatened by communist “enslavement” that the U.S. government described.

  15. 3.What synthesis is Activity 3: More American involvement in Viet Nam continued 4.In 1963 the White House believed that all its military goals in Vietnam could be accomplished by the end of 1965, predicting that only a few military advisors would be needed by then. When Congress was confronted with an apparently unprovoked attack by North Vietnam on two of its destroyers, however, it authorized the president to treat the situation as a war (even though it never declared war) and to send in unlimited amounts of men and supplies. From a few military advisors sent to Vietnam in 1961, the American troop commitment was to escalate to more than 500,000 in 1969. But even with such vast manpower, the United States was unable to inflict “permanent setbacks” against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese.. During the three years preceding the Tet Offensive, the U.S. Air Force dropped almost as much bomb tonnage on Vietnam as had been dropped by American forces during World War II (Slaughter Goes On” 13). In 1967, President Johnson claimed that the bombing was creating “very serious problems” for North Vietnam (Johnson, “Bombing” 972)… bombing was escalated for years, increasing civilian casualties. The United States was forgetting the lesson Hitler learned in World War II with his bombing of Britain: bombing does not break the resolve of the population - it strengthens it. The North Vietnamese newspaper Nhan Dan pointed out that the bombings only served to “further incense” the population of North Vietnam (“Slaughter Goes On” 13). In spite of all this, the American public was ready to believe the government’s assurance of impending victory . It took the “devastating” Tet Offensive of 1968 (a coordinated attack…on more than one hundred towns and cities in the South) to impress upon it the reality of just how costly and difficult it would be for the United States to win the war. Point of the paragraph: The military solution was seen as the correct one: the White House statement, while conceding that “improvements are being energetically sought,” asserted that the “military program in South Vietnam has made progress and is sound in principle.”

  16. 3.What synthesis is Activity 3: More American involvement in Viet Nam continued Paragraph 1: America was sure that its military intervention in South Vietnam was morally right. Paragraph 2: The official position was that America was acting out of purely altruistic means. Paragraph 3: The military solution was seen as the correct one: the White House statement, while conceding that “improvements are being energetically sought,” asserted that the “military program in South Vietnam has made progress and is sound in principle.” Paragraph 4: The military solution was seen as the correct one: the White House statement, while conceding that “improvements are being energetically sought,” asserted that the “military program in South Vietnam has made progress and is sound in principle.” Synthesised argument: A…combination of self-righteousness and arrogance blinded America to the realities of the situation in Vietnam.

  17. 3.What synthesis is

  18. 3.What synthesis is • Tiny details

  19. References Aveyard, H. (2010) Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care. 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Ben. (2014) 3 Great Methods to Structure Your Literature Review. Literature Review HQ [online] Available at: http://www.literaturereviewhq.com/3-great-methods-to-structure-your-literature-review/ [Accessed 8.8.2014] Burnett, J. (2009) Doing Your Social Science Dissertation. London: Sage Publications Ltd. Caldwell, K., Henshaw, L., and Taylor, G. (2011) Developing a Framework for Critiquing Health Research: An Early Evaluation. Nurse Education Today. Vol. 31 (No. 8) pp. e1-e7 Carter, C. (2014) Introduction to Syntheses. East Lansing: Michegan State University. [online] Available at: https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/135/Synthesis.html [Accessed 7.8.2014] Clip art: paddle/swim/dive Cottrell, S. (2003) The Study Skill Handbook. 2nd Ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Cottrell, S. (2014) Dissertations and Project Reports. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Dunleavy, P. (2003 ) Authoring a PhD. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. FarlexIncorporated. Huntingdon Valley: FarlexIncorporated. Search term: paradigm [online] Available at: http://www.thefreedictionary.com [Accessed 25.3.14] Gay, J. (2006) Blackpool holidaymakers. London: BBC. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lancashire/5110750.stm [Accessed 2.9.2014] Hart, C. (2005) Doing your Masters Dissertation. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

  20. References Harish. (2013) The Forest and the Trees: The Big Picture vs.the Small Details. [online] Available at: http://launchyourgenius.com/2013/04/15/the-forest-and-the-trees-big-picture-vs-small-details/ [Accessed 7.8.2014] Lydia Lunning, L. Writing The Literature Review. Minneapolis: Waldon University [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpErYDb6PsY [Accessed 28.3.2014] Pirie, D. (1985) How to Write Critical Essays. London: Routledge. Raddon, A. (2010) Early Stage Research Training: Epistemology and Ontology in Social Science Research. Leicester: University of Leicester [online] Available at: http://www2.le.ac.uk/colleges/socsci/documents/research-training-presentations/EpistFeb10.pdf [Accessed 25.3.2014] Ridley, D. (2012) The Literature Review. 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd. Wallace, M. and Wray, A. (2011) Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates. 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd. Wikipedia Foundation Incorporated (2014) Search terms: ontology, epistemology, methodology [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/ [Accessed 28.3.2014] Wisker, G. (2008) The Postgraduate Research Handbook. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. The Writing Lab. (2014) What is a synthesis essay? Bellevue, Washington: Bellevue College. [online] Available at: http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/asc/writing/essays-guides/documents/synthesisessay.pdf [Accessed 7.8.2014]

  21. Academic Skills Advice Service • Where are we? Chesham Building B0.23 • What do we do? Support undergraduate students with their study skills by running clinicsand workshops, having bookable appointment slots, and enabling students to drop-in for Instant Advice. • Who are we? Michael and Helen specialise in Maths Support; Lucy and Russell advise students on study skills; and I (Louise) deliver the workshops • When can you come for help? Everydayboth face to face and on-line • How do I get in touch? Email: academic-skills@brad.ac.uk or website www.brad.ac.uk/academic-skills

  22. Any questions?