Update: mid-September

I spent a lot of time finishing the editing of a manuscript this week so I had less time to blog and research. I did achieve something significant, however, and that has opened up the level of access I have to information. To take a quick step back, my inspiration for a while now has […]

Literature Review — Outline

Trolls, echo chambers, misogynism, abuse of politicians and d*ick pics are some of the worst elements of social media. But is that all there is to this platform? How are social media platforms used? What evidence exists of the number of users and different types of use? Who own the media? What types of political […]

Concept Map

I’ve been working on a concept map of my research (with much thanks to the FutureLearn course for how to do a literature review). This helps to first identify the structure of the research and then find matching articles and information that fits alongside those concepts. It’s a great way to work on what research […]

Crowdsourcing questions

I’m now at the stage where I want to find as many questions about my research as possible. I then plan on using the literature to answer the questions. I have the following so far: What effect on political participation and political knowledge, do social media users/forms have in comparison to regional and national media? […]

Drills: Note taking — II

A simple and effective technique for paraphrasing is to read a paper, or even just the abstract, then look away from the text and write down what you remember: what is the study about? what problem does it address? how did they conduct the research? what were the main findings? why is it important? The […]

Drills: taking notes and reading — I

“Why did you walk around with crab apples in your cheeks? Yossarian asked again. “That’s what I asked.” “Because they’ve got a better shape than horse chestnuts,” Orr answered. “I just told you that.” “Why,” swore Yossarian at him approvingly, “you evil-eyed, mechanically-aptituded, disaffiliated son of a bitch, did you walk around with anything in your cheeks?” “I […]

Self evaluation, feedback on timings

One part of this ultralearning project is about achieving a PhD-level of research by myself without a higher education institution; the other part though is not needing to be constrained by typical time limitations. Could I research and write up a thesis and pass a viva, or submit for a PhD via publication in under […]

Literature Review

The literature review is an essential part of a thesis. The student needs to know where to place themselves in the literature, what the literature says about their question, what has already been researched and what conclusions have been drawn. I’ve always found the literature review a bit of a rabbit hole–in a rather mesmerising […]

How to research your own PhD — inspired by Scott Young’s ‘Ultralearning’ — Part II

“The core of the ultralearning strategy is intensity and a willingness to prioritize effectiveness.” I enjoyed reading Scott Young‘s case studies — public speaking, finishing an MIT degree, learning four languages in a year — but it is the principles of ultralearning that allow me to carry on with my project. I want to now […]

How to research your own PhD — inspired by Scott Young’s ‘Ultralearning’ — Part I

Introduction I came across Scott Young on the Learning to Learn course taught by McMaster University & University of California San Diego. This was a course designed to provide strategies and the latest research on learning techniques. Young was featured for his work at completing an MIT degree without going to MIT, and in 12 […]

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