Dissertation Proposal PDPPosted: May 1, 2015
Throughout this academic year, I have taken numerous subjects in Constellation which have been designed to help me practice my academic skills and start thinking about what I want to write for my dissertation.
In term 1, we were asked to choose a constellation subject which might interest us – whether it related to our subject or not. I chose the subject “Understanding Humour” since it focused on the human psyche – something I find very interesting and challenging to understand.
Although I found the subject interesting, I personally found the classes lengthy and struggled to take in a whole lot of information.
Term 2 was focussing more on what we planned to do for our dissertation rather than just keeping our academic minds active. We attended key note lectures which were relatively helpful, although I feel like I could have done with a few more of them focussing on the format and was needed in the dissertation proposal and PDP since at that point in time I was panicking far more about the proposal than the dissertation itself.
It took me a while to decide what I might focus on with my dissertation, feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer choice that I had. I wanted it to relate back to my subject, but I didn’t want to do something directly on illustration.
Instead, I looked towards my own hobbies and interests outside of illustration. I considered the fact that I enjoy media and television a lot and am quite nerdy about analysing characters. As well as this, I consider myself a feminist and am very interested in feminist discussions, arguments and counter arguments.
With some help and advice from my term 1 tutor, I came to the conclusion that I could combine these two and white an analytical essay on gender within television.
After this, we were assigned new constellation lecturers based on our interests for our dissertations. I was very happy with the tutor I was assigned and found that her lectures on the proposal helped clear up a few things for me. I was also able to book regular one to one tutorials, where I discussed the research I had undertook and was, from this, guided in the right direction on whether the research I had collected was going to help me out in my dissertation or not.
Without the guidance of my tutor, I would have not been able to or even thought to narrow down the two subjects of media and feminism down to a small enough pinpoint I could fit into a comprehensive 10k essay. It was suggested to me that I decide on one single media format (I chose television) and then to narrow it down to a certain genre within that. After giving it a lot of thought I chose sitcoms since I have seen many articles and opinions on them in relation to feminism before.
It was really helpful to have these one to one sessions discussing my dissertation choice, since it helped me gain confidence in the fact that I knew whether I was doing enough work or not – and whether the work I was doing was relevant. The one thing I would change is that I’d have liked to have had one last tutorial right before handing in my proposal, or at least a formative hand in where I could get feedback before handing in a final draught. Having written the whole thing over Easter as I was supposed to, I came back with quite a lot less confidence in whether what I’d written was correct.
At the end of the day, I am still glad to have gotten the teachings that I did and currently feel relatively well prepared for writing my dissertation. Since I was unsure of whether I was doing the proposal right, I decided to write it in a way that would help me personally when it came to beginning my diss. I am glad that some of the things I was dreading about my dissertation are now over and done with in my proposal – such as some parts of my bibliography are now correctly cited and documented, and I got good practice at using references within my text (complete with correct formatting).
I am glad to have been asked to do a proposal before writing my actual dissertation since, for one, it will give me the chance to see in my grade on how high my level of writing currently is – letting me know whether I’ll need to improve before hand-in next year. As well as this, my tutor will be able to tell me if my argument is going to be something I can even write 10k on.
Overall, I have enjoyed the constellation subjects this academic year has provided for me and I am hoping the support I have received this year will carry on even stronger in the next.