OUGD601: Lecture // Methodologies & Critical Analysis


How the information you have found is…


You need to clearly evidence why you selected these methods of gathering information and selecting evidence and why they are most appropriate for your study

This will make you appear to be in control and aware of what you are doing…

Dictionary Definition 




These can help you decide upon these methods you use. Alternatively the martial you find may suggest the appropriate theories. 

Dictionary Definition

Choose at least one key theory that relates to the material you are looking at….

Shannon-Weaver Model



Social History / Marxist

Post Colonial Analysis

Feminist - different types of feminism 


Action Research

There is an endless list of possibilities…

Important - Choose the theories and methods most appropriate to your subject


1. Methods 2. Theories 3. Application

1. Make decisions about how to collect and order information

2. Choose a theoretical stand point

3. Apply these to your study

4. Explicitly outline this in the introduction. Address suggested failings in the conclusion. 

Make sure your project has direction. Assure a rigorously thought-out methodology from the start. 


Different chapters outlining different parts of your study. 

Introduction - outline the methodology. Break down the different components of the analysis.


Outline a clear and consistent strategy. 

Critical Analysis

Weighing up different sides of an argument. 

Making a selection based on an informed decision. 

Stepping away and using evidence and logic to come to your conclusion. 

Have an idea, don’t assume it’s correct, be critical and evaluate different stand points.

Awareness of perspectives 

Two things which are quality correct. 


Where was the author/artist/designer/photographer situated?

Being skeptical about the sources

Freud has been debunked by more modern theories

Try to consider different points of view

Has it been supported by other theories?

Has it been rejected or challenged by other theories?

Where was the creator coming from intellectually?

Where am I coming from?

How it my choice of topic influenced by my emotions; aspirations; context?


Context is everything

Nothing exists in a bubble, they’re influenced and produced by society, prejudices and pre-juxtopositons 

Consider the influence of one or more of the following;

the time; place; society; politics; economics; technology; philosophy; scientific thought…



What is the evidence for what you are saying?

It’s not right or wrong, it needs to support your subjective take on the topic.

Supporting research - quotes, research, experiments and observation.

You need your own opinion.

Could you find more evidence to support your conclusions?

Distill all the evidence, summaries it, then come to a ultimate answer








What do I want to say?

Have I got the evidence to back it up?

Where else do I need to look in order to find more evidence?



Pitting alternative theories against the same body of data

Using multiple approaches to a topic to compare and contrast to find the most relevant

Or perhaps even complementary theories

Theory X says [information] Theory Y says [conflicting information] Theory Z says [takes one side, or the other]

Am I expressing myself clearly and logically?


A clear logical plan

Keep it simple - refine what you want to say and focus on a few key issues

Looking into your key issues in depth and bring in the maximum evidence in to support your views.

Discuss your issues and the evidence you have found in a clear local manner

More from the general to the specific

OUGD601: Lecture // Organising Your Research Project

Doing your research project - Judith Bell

371.3 - Library 

6,000-9,000 word written element, and related practical work.

Minimum 2.5 hours 1 on 1 support on the written element of the module - and additional support for the practical.

Deadline - 15th of Jan, 4pm

15 weeks

Try to have a substantial draft submitted by Christmas

Project Overview

Start thinking about how those initial ideas are going to be turned into a dissertation and a synthesised project

Write down all the questions you want to investigate, about your topic. 

Consider each on their merits and focus on two (primary & secondary)

Write down first thoughts sheet for each question

What is the purpose of the study? Is your question researchable?

Working title - empathises can be changed. The work must relate to that title

Project Outline

Consider timing

Consider holidays/work/life

Think about you working title and the different component parts that need researching.

Allocate timings to each

Draw up a project outline based on the above

Allow generous time for initial reading and writing up

Factor in tutorials 

Literature Search

Reading takes more time than you think

How much can you actually read in 100 hours?

Start by trying to find out all the key texts on your chosen topic

Focus your reading based on an initial assessment of this survey

Finding key texts and plan time to read these

Find secondary sources / criticisms of key texts - triangulation 

Use journals


Start by compiling a bibliography at the beginning of the project

Reference everything as you go along

Include all details

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