“Good research is a messy business…”

Hello there. Sorry for the lack of blogging last week, but a series of unfortunate (and quite frankly ridiculous) events left me unable to attend anything but the last 30 seconds of our last lecture. Thankfully, the studious nature of my class mates (some more than others) and their brilliant blogs left me feeling like I was trotting at the back of the pack, rather than running to catch up…

With our research findings due in week 20, it is about time to start…

Gathering all our data together in one place.

Collating what we have, taking it apart and looking for patterns and themes.

Analysing what with have, finding the meaning of what has been said, and grouping the ‘primary’ data that best represents exactly what we are looking for in regards to our literature review/research proposal.

To do this we will have to transcribe and analyse what we have. This is good example of ‘slow and steady wins the race’. It will take time to really look beyond what has been ‘said’ and decipher what was ‘meant’ by those words. We will have to search for themes and motifs, but must remember to check our analysis with the participants to see that we have found ‘their’ meaning rather than instilling our own.

All of this will make up the body of our discussion, where we will talk about what we have found, what it shows us and ultimately what it all means, all the while keeping our lit reviews in the back of our mind.

As per any becoming educational lecture, an exuberant monologue from Tom (and the steadfast navigation of Sandra keeping him on track) was only the start of this weeks lecture. It was time again to put what we had discussed into practice. To help us do this we had the benefit of a wonderful poem about cheating that Esin had written. Have a gander.

Cheating and teaching

Conflicting each other

Do you think cheating is easy?

What you feel when you cheat?

Shameful… Deeply in your heart.

And scarlet kiss on your cheek

What about eyes?

Poor eyes!

Glooming and trying to catch something

From someone else’s work


Feel hot! And hearing some voice that whispering you:

Don’t do! Don’t do!

Cheating is unfair and not respecting…

So why are you doing this hard job?

Grab life by handling right bar…

To be honest!

It is easy! Isn’t it?

We then set about analysing the poem to find it’s hidden meanings. Your friend and humble narrator thought he was watching an episode of catchphrase so said what he saw, that it was “about cheating”. Smoooooooth. After that “Say what you see” faux pas we went on to discuss how we had to utilise all our senses to really get to the grain of what was being said, to question that which seems so obvious we no longer question it.

On a side not, the last couple of weeks have seemed to revolve around cheating, specifically plagiarism so of course my Facebook and Twitter have been full of relevant articles – I’m still unsure whether this is coincidence, providence or some breathtaking Google tech that I am unaware of. Here is a link to one that I found super interesting. It says, amongst other things, that plagiarism is a way for academics to “enforce their collective authority”, and that rather than programs like Turnitin, plagiarism should be more like a game of ‘cat & mouse’ between student and teacher. Certainly something to think on, especially when you consider the relaxed take the arts have toward plagiarism…


4 thoughts on ““Good research is a messy business…”

  1. I really like your description of research as a messy business!!
    And – given the moral panic around ‘cheating’ and ‘plagiarism’ – did you like that we treated it as a qualitative research topic?


    • I did yeah. It ties in nicely with qualitative research feeling more creative or ‘artistic’ and therefore a little less bogged down by terms like plagiarism

      Liked by 1 person

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