Author Archives: Andrew Defty

The pitfalls of recording interviews

Some sage advice from Telegraph journalist Tom Chivers. For all of those who head out to collect interview data confident that the electronic data recorder in their pocket will meet their every need, always pack a notebook and pen, (better … Continue reading

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The Conservative Party and immigration: a lesson in bad survey design

For some years as part of our undergraduate research methods teaching we have provided students with a mock-questionnaire which has been deliberately designed to enable them to identify the various potential flaws in survey design, and it is hoped, avoid them when they come … Continue reading

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What are aims and objectives?

This excellent post by Pat Thomson, Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham is essential reading. Professor Thomson, blogs about academic writing and research, and her posts are well worth following. In this post Professor Thomson deals with the knotty and often ignored … Continue reading

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How to do a discourse analysis

Students embarking on their undergraduate research project often claim that they want to carry out some form of discourse analysis without any clear idea what this means. This useful article from the PoliticsEastAsia blog provides a comprehensive introduction to discourse analysis … Continue reading

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Let’s hear it for librarians, the pitbulls of democracy

I don’t like the phrase, ‘library-based research’. It implies that research either takes place in the library or somewhere else. That students can choose between undertaking their own fieldwork or spending time in the library reading the findings of others … Continue reading

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