The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Recommended reading for anyone (thinking about) writing-up

Cross-posted from Cogs and Wheels

One of the reasons why I’ve been so quiet recently, is that I’ve been trying, desperately, to get some of this thesis written up. And, in brilliant timing, I came across the following book, thanks to Mary’s recommendation:

Patrick Dunleavy. 2003. Authoring a PhD: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Thesis or Dissertation. Palgrave MacMillan.

What a godsend! It’s absolutely brilliant (clearly all the reviewers on Amazon think so too!). Thanks to Prof. Dunleavy I now have the words to describe the methodological thrust of my written-up research; my thesis going to take an analytic, plus descriptive approach. To fully appreciate what that means, you’ll have to read the book. But, suffice to say, it’s going to take a little bit of work to turn my current purely descriptive chapters into something a little more ‘analytic’.

Actually,the plan for my thesis has always been to start with case studies and open out in a broader narrative, weaving in some theory and historical stuff - I just didn’t know how I was going to achieve it. But this book really does give clear advice about how to ‘author’ a thesis to best show off your original research. I think it could, over the next six months or so, become my bible!

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