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Postgraduate course 2019/2020

Methodology of the dissertation research and оrganizing the work with bibliography

Type: Compulsory course
Area of studies: Sociology
Delivered by: School of Sociology
When: 1 year, 1 semester
Mode of studies: Full time
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The purpose of the discipline is to develop among graduate students the skills of substantiating a chosen topic, formulating a research problem, drawing up a plan and structure of work, formulating research questions, goals and objectives, peer review, book reviewing, preparing a review of sources, planning, writing and preparing for publication of academic texts, skills academic work with bibliographic sources using modern software.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The purpose of the discipline is to develop among graduate students the skills of substantiating a chosen topic, formulating a research problem, drawing up a plan and structure of work, formulating research questions, goals and objectives, peer review, book reviewing, preparing a review of sources, planning, writing and preparing for publication of academic texts, skills academic work with bibliographic sources using modern software.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student is able to access the quality of a piece of academic literature based on various dimensions.
  • Student finds relevant literature on a topic, using academic search engines, full-texts databases, and bibliographic databases.
  • Student uses Zotero to collect, organize, and cite the literature.
  • The student prepared synopsis of the thesis according to the assigned structure, the synopsis will be reviewed and discussed by the Academic Board.
  • Book review of a recently published book relevant for the student's own research topic ready to submission to a publisher
  • Peer review of a class mate's state of the art article or a literature review
  • The state-of-the-art article ready for peer-review and subsequent submission to a publisher
  • Literature review based on the selecting, reading and analysing of the relevant literature
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Working with Bibliography: general principles and issues
    Bibliography in the digital age: welcome to the information fog. A reference list: building blocks and signals. Types of academic publications. Peer-review journals. Top journals. Citation indicators. Handbooks, literature review articles, Annual Reviews (e.g. Annual review of sociology).
  • Searching strategies and tips
    Key problem: wide coverage vs. relevance. Academic search engines (Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic etc.). Full-texts databases: publishers (Science Direct, SAGE, Springer, Emerald etc.) and aggregators (JSTOR, EBSCO, ProQuest etc.). Bibliographic databases (Web of Science, Scopus). Searching and filtering tips.
  • Using Zotero
    Reference management software. Zotero as a free, easy-to-use tool to collect, organize, cite, and share research. Getting stuff into the library. Organizing the library and taking notes. Generating bibliographies, citations, and reports. Word processor integration. Citation styles. Syncing, collaboration, and backup. plugins. Tips and tricks.
  • The preparatory stage of writing a dissertation
    Preparation of the substantiation of the topic of dissertation research (synopsis). Discussion topics. Communication with the passport of a specialty. The main tasks of the preparatory phase. Sources used during the preparatory phase: scientific papers, statistics, informal survey / consultation with experts. Compilation of a bibliography and a brief review of the literature. Formulation of goals, objectives, object and subject. Formulation of a scientific problem, research questions. The choice of consultants. Justification of relevance. Key works on the topic. A brief overview of key works. Discussion of the research methodology. The structure of the work (thesis plan). The degree of development of the problem and the search for unresolved problems and issues within the chosen research area. Preparation of a brief justification for a research project (synopsis). Showing synopsis to consultants and supervisors. Mutual peer review of synopsis. Editing and presentation of synopsis at the seminar. Synopsis distribution to anonymous reviewers.
  • Literature review of the research topic
    The conceptualization of the basic concepts in the future selected theoretical approaches to the research topic. A review of the literature and basic requirements for it. Analysis of sources, its need and main directions. Intellectual and contextual history of ideas. History of concepts. Choosing a basic theoretical approach, writing a review of the main sources. Preparation of reviews of the theoretical text. Writing a theoretical justification for your own research. Conceptual framework. Connection of the theoretical base and empirical research methodology.
  • Preparation of publications based on review and peer review of sources
    Preparation of the text for publication. The structure of the article. Annotation, preamble, introduction. Main part. Conclusion. Academic style techniques. Using metaphors. Reviewing and editing text: rules for peer-reviewed journals.
  • Review
    Reasons and principles for the scholarly review of texts. Review article. Peer review. Book Review. Ways to work on a review. Review structure. Summary: description of the subject, purpose, general course of presentation, argumentation, conclusions. Critical assessment of content. The characteristic of argumentation. Preparing the state-of-the-art literature review
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Library in Zotero
  • non-blocking Synopsis of the dissertation
    Synopsis of the dissertation
  • non-blocking Home assignment: a book review
    Book review
  • non-blocking Home assignment: literature review
    Literature review
  • non-blocking Home assignment: the state of the art article
    The state of the art article
  • non-blocking Home assignment: peer review
    Peer-review
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 semester)
    0.2 * Home assignment: a book review + 0.4 * Home assignment: literature review + 0.2 * Library in Zotero + 0.2 * Synopsis of the dissertation
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Academic writing for graduate students. Essential tasks and skills, Swales J.M., Feak C.B., 2014
  • Day, R. A. (1998). How to Write and Publish Scientific Papers. Memórias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 93(3). https://doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02761998000300029
  • Effective academic writing 3. The essay, Davis J., 2006
  • Greetham, B. (2013). How to Write Better Essays (Vol. Third edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1522754
  • Gustavii, B. (2008). How to Write and Illustrate a Scientific Paper (Vol. 2nd ed). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=224505
  • Hall, G. M. (2013). How To Write a Paper (Vol. 5th ed). Chichester, West Sussex: BMJ Books. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=531388
  • Puckett, J. (2011). Zotero : A Guide for Librarians, Researchers, and Educators. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=452121
  • Shvidko, E. (2014). Review of Longman Academic Writing Series 5: Essays to Research Papers, by Meyers, A. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.7AD69954
  • Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (2001). Academic Communications and the Graduate Student. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.3E2EACE3

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (2008). The Craft of Research, Third Edition (Vol. 3rd ed). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=272563