Objective: to produce a dissertation proposal that provides a sound foundation for the research and writing you will undertake next academic year.
Task: Write a two-stage proposal for an academic research dissertation.
Part 1: An initial proposal which includes a topic, selected issues of debate (from those possible), research question, object of study, and broad method;
The topic must be regarding digital media, eg. online platform – twitter, facebook, etc
Questions can be like how xxx is represented on Twitter, etc
How online media platforms are regulated in China, etc
or about virtual media.
Research method must include:
Researching primary documents: finding documentation (digital and hardcopy archives); interpreting policy documents, statistical data and organisational documents
· political economy;
· organisational analysis;
· interviews with media workers;
· workplace ethnography
· Content Analysis
· Rhetorical Analysis
· Genre Analysis
· Semiological Analysis
· Discourse Analysis
· reception analysis;
· focus groups;
· Archive research
· Oral histories
· Media Texts
Conditions: The initial proposal should be no more than 500 words in length, accurately typed, fully referenced and contain an appropriate and complete bibliography.
Part 2: A detailed proposal which includes:
a) a revised research question that is possible, clear, academically informed, and relevant problem that needs investigating;
b) a justification for the research. Why is it of personal interest? Which taught modules you will have completed in year 2 or 3, will act as the necessary prerequisite for this research? What real world issues does it tackle? What gap in scholarly knowledge does it address, or what research or scholarly issue does is reinterpret or update?
c) a three part theoretical framework you intend to locate your study within, and a critical survey of the secondary published material in each area of your framework that you will build on;
d) a brief account of the primary research method (or when appropriate methods) you intend to use and why is it (or they are) suitable for your study. You should provide a practical plan of how you will be able to access the primary objects you plan to study;
e) a correctly presented bibliography of sources you intend to use for your dissertation (including books, journal articles, media texts, websites).
Conditions: The proposal should be no more than 2000 words in length, typed, double-spaced, fully referenced and contain an appropriate and complete bibliography in the Harvard style.
Equal marks will be awarded under each of the following criteria:
• Quality of expression, organisation, referencing, and presentation.
• Expression and justified distinctiveness of the research question and relevance of the prerequisite module identified.
• Breadth, depth of literature survey and relevance of the theoretical framework outlined.
• Appropriateness and viability of research methodology outlined.
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