MA for Research IT913-15 Research Skills in Modern Languages

MA for Research
IT913-15 Research Skills in Modern Languages
Module assessment: 2 tasks: drafts to be handed in in term 1, revised versions to be handed in term
2 to be assessed on a 100 point scale.
Exercise 1:
Compile a bibliography of ca. 25 entries on a topic of your choice related to your research interests*
using a variety of relevant databases and/or reference works –these should in all cases include,
books, book chapters, articles and recent dissertations as well as electronic resources, though you
should not neglect any major printed resources relevant to your chosen topic or field of enquiry.
You should put into practice the skills and insights you have acquired through the bibliographical
research sessions you attended in weeks 2 and 3.
The bibliographical entries should be listed in the format recommended by the MHRA Style Guide
(section on Bibliographies). You may distinguish between primary and secondary texts, and/or
between printed and electronic resources as appropriate for your topic or field.
You should add a separate list of the bibliographical tools / databases you used to compile the
bibliography and of the search terms/techniques used to search them.
DEADLINE: Tabula Weds 29 October by mid-day (week 4)
Exercise 2:
Write a critical review (literature review) for a topic or research problem of your choice related to
your research area*
The review should give an account of what major research has been undertaken on the particular
topic or field of your choice. It should identify the key authors and the dominant critical views,
theories or hypotheses in the field, as well as any areas of controversy; it should report on what
questions are being asked, and what methods and methodologies are considered appropriate and
useful. At the end, you should summarize the research questions that remain to be answered and
propose the way forward.
The review should thus show evidence of a pointed bibliographical search, from which you make a
rational selection. It should be presented not as an annotated list, but as a critical analysis in
discursive prose, in which you have meaningfully organised, and commented on, the material.
Aim for ca. 2,000 words.
DEADLINE: Tabula midday Thursday 10th December (week after the end of term)
* Note on the choice of topic: This may be a topic on which you plan to write a doctoral research
proposal, or it may be akin to your dissertation research, though you should avoid a straight
reduplication of material, as this exercise is part of a separate unit of assessment.
Summative study skills portfolio
Most MA students find the jump up from undergraduate bibliographical work quite a large step so
these first 2 pieces of work are formative – that is to say, the mark does not count towards the MA.
The focus of the feedback will be on improving the piece of work.
Students will then be expected to correct and resubmit the two exercises as a study skills portfolio as
a summative piece of work by week 5 of the spring term.
DEADLINE: Tabula Thursday 11th February 2015 (week 5 of spring term)
Marking criteria
Exercise 1: Bibliography
 has referred to a range of electronic and printed sources to compile a relevant bibliography
 includes a range of types of publication, country and language of publication
 includes recent material
 provides reasonable coverage of the topic
 formally well presented
 a clear indication that style guidelines have been observed (although there may be small
details to correct)
 has demonstrated awareness and effective use of a range of bibliographical search tools
Exercise 2: critical review
 the review demonstrates an organised and reflective assessment of research
 it clearly identifies dominant critical views and methodologies
 it is up-to-date
 it summarises research questions still to be answered or suggests new avenues for research