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OUGD501: Lecture Dissertation or Extended Written Piece - Research Skills

Key Words
  • Focus
  • Relevance
  • Deciding the topic or the title is the most important part of the research, which of course can be tweaked later.
  • It makes research easier if the title is very defined and focused; the chances are when you research that topic, you’re researching relevantly.

Dissertation Titles
  • The role of costume within the film “A Taste of Honey”
  • Did western society ever need cars; are they a necessity and how have they contributed to the formation of the urban environment?
  • The topic title is very focused, very defined. Focused.
  • The second title is quite broad, not very defined, ‘the western world’ can be anywhere, as is the ‘urban environment’.

When it comes to researching the topic, it’s good to visualise the title, with a mind map, or similar. You can branch out to various headings, to which you can make notes from.

This mind map is very wooly. It has alot of areas to focus on, which in turn will lead to a less in-depth piece of writing. 

Dissertation Titles
  • How has multiculturalism changed the face of fashion and beauty
  • Punk culture and the fashion industry.
  • How has technology changed the way we feel about the hand-drawn image?
  • Can the fashion and textile design industry ever be ethical and sustainable?
Primary and Secondary
  • Primary research is research you yourself generates, original data
  • Obviously you need to contextualise your findings and research, which falls upon secondary research. 
  • Primary research – gathering your own original data
  • Secondary research (Scholarship) – reading up on the subject, making use of the research and findings of others for corroboration, disagreement, triangulation, theoretical underpinning etc
Research Methods

  • Visual practice, experiment, interest & enquiry (research and critical diaries)
  • Questionnaires (qualitative/quantitative)
  • Site visit
  • Case Study
  • Interviews
Literature Search 1

  • Books
  • Journals 
  • Websites / Blogs / On-line forums
  • Videos / DVDs
  • CDs / Tape Cassettes / Vinyl Recordings
  • TV / Radio
  • Newspapers / Maps / Reports
  • Printed Ephemera
Literature Search 2
  • Knowing where to look most effectively
  • Effective use of catalogues
  • Narrowing and broadening search terms
  • Using related terms
  • Browsing using Dewey Decimal Classification
  • Use of contents page and index
  • Reading the introduction or abstract
  • Using a book’s own bibliography to inform further reading
Book Search
Journal Search 1

Journal Search 2

  • a store of online magazine articles
  • Unfortunately, only available on college computers
Journal Search 3

Internet Search 1

  • Athens
  • a store of password protected sites.
  • each student who wishes to access this site will need to ask the Librarian for a login and password

Internet Search 2
  • WGSN
  • A database of fashion information and trends
  • Log-in: leedscollege
  • Password: wgsn123
Internet Search 3

Library & eStudio

Chris' Final Two Tips
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew (keep the topic and title focused and manageable)
  • Create a sense of momentum (note taking, writing a draft section when you can, keeping your bibliography up to date) 

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