Showing posts with label research in humanities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label research in humanities. Show all posts

Monday 20 September 2021

ICT for Research in Humanities

ICT / Digital Technologies for Research in Humanities

Highlights of the talk:

ICT (Information and Communication Technology) or Digital Technology.
From using ICT tools for Research to researching literature generated by digital technologies.
From using ICT as tool to researching Digital Technology as an object of study.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been a vital tool for researchers in the Humanities for a long time. It has been used to research literature, review previous research, formulate hypothesis, collect data, and analyze information. ICT tools like Inflibnet, Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, JSTOR, and virtual libraries such as Gutenberg, Google Books, and online book stores have been used extensively.

However, with the advent of digital technologies, the possibilities of research in the Humanities have increased significantly. The digital technology is acquiring the ability to think and create like humans. Its artificial intelligence is getting smarter, and its ability to process natural language is getting closer to that of humans.

Digital Technology for research in Humanities has several advantages. For example, tools like the CLiC web app, nGram Google Books, and tools for corpus linguistics provide new ways to analyze literary texts. ELAN is another tool that provides multiple ways to view annotations and supports the creation of multiple tiers. However, the use of digital technology for research in Humanities has its own challenges. For example, the question of morality arises when using AI and its potential for unconscious bias. The generative literature, being produced by computers, requires a new way of understanding and reading.
In conclusion, while ICT remains an important tool for research in Humanities, the increased capabilities of digital technologies open up new possibilities and offer new ways to analyze information. Researchers in the Humanities must be familiar with digital technology and take advantage of its benefits while addressing its challenges.

Video Recording of the session:


Tuesday 1 September 2020

PhD Coursework: Research Methodology - English Studies

Video Resources on Research Methodology - PhD Coursework, Dept. of English, MKBU

1. Prof. Sachin Ketkar on "Translation Studies as World Literature and World Literature as Translation Studies"

2. Dr. Kalyan Chattopadhyay on "Academic Writing"

3. Prof. Kiran Trivedi on "Quality Research Publication: Impact Factor, i-Index, h-Index, i10-Index

4. Dr. Valiur Rahaman on 'The Vocation & Life of Research Scholar'

5. Dr. Kalyani Vallath on 'Practical Ways of Organizing Research'

6. Prof. Balaji Ranganathan on 'Research Techniques'

7. Dr. Valiur Rahaman on 'The Art of Literary Research Today'

8. Prof. Atanu Bhattacharya on 'The Academic Writing: The Basics'


9. Prof. Atanu Bhattacharya on 'The Academic Writing: The 



10. Prof. Nigam Dave on 'Philosophy and Ethics'

11. Dilip Barad on 'Introduction to the Course on Research and Publication Ethics' (Gujarati)

12. Critic, Researcher & Scholar | Richard Altick | The Art of Literary Research

The difference between critic and scholar and that between researcher and scholar is a sort of water-tight compartment - or a line drawn in the sand. Critics is the one who concerns with textual analysis. The researcher concerns itself with intellectual insight and imaginative responses through vivid sense of History. The Scholar is the one who is able to use critics' textual analysis as well as researchers pastness of the past in the present context. If researcher is the means, the scholarship is the end. The scholarship is a habit of main. It is a way of life.

13. Mind and Temperament of Research Scholar | The Art of Literary Research | Richard Altick

What are the necessities to make for a rewarding Research Project?
Publish or Perish?
What are the chief qualities of 'mind' and 'temperament' that go to make up a successful and happy scholar?

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Research Methodology Workshop Handout

This handout is drafted with a view to help research scholars who in search of research topic. Once the research topic/area is identified, the another step is to convert it into an argument. This is very difficult phase and requires a lot of thinking. The second part of this handout has some 10 indicators to help scholars to turn research topic into an argument. The third part of this handout helps in preparing first draft of research proposal.

Deciding on a Research Topic (Owens, 2010):

One of the points to stress at the outset is that the range of possible research topics in literature is very wide indeed. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, students occasionally find it difficult to make up their minds what it is they want to investigate. If you feel, momentarily, that you can’t decide what might interest you, you could try making a list of things that you would like to learn more about. Once you have a list of up to five or six things, you should take some time to read around each of them a bit, trying to think not only which seems most enticing and likely to hold your interest, but which of them your previous study has best equipped you to pursue. By ‘reading around’, I do not mean reading aimlessly, or in a desultory fashion. On the contrary, you should be reading quickly and purposively, with questions in your mind, scanning material that seems potentially relevant to your areas of interest and getting an overview of it. The questions you should be asking include:

Answer to these questions with reference to your research interest:
What are some of the key studies in this field?



What kinds of approaches have been taken to the subject?



What are the key issues and questions in this field?



Are there any possible gaps, or approaches yet to be explored?
(Digital Humanities, Film Studies, Cultural Studies, Globalization, postcoloniality, Study of controversies in literature, banned books, retellings, teaching literature, teaching criticism, teaching literary theories, study of censorship, sci-fi, self-help, electronic/digital literature, realism - social/virtual)




Having decided on your topic and limited its scope, the next step is to give it a direction. The way to do this is to develop out of your topic a set of questions you want to answer, or problems that you want to solve. Doing research is not about gathering information or data for its own sake: the information or data
is presented in order to answer questions, in order to try to change what is thought about something. Virtually every good dissertation will take the form of an argument, of an attempt to prove or establish something by means of presentation and analysis of evidence.
There are many possible ways of turning a topic into an argument. To give some examples, your dissertation might be one of the following:
Based on the research topic selected above, draft an argument with the help of below given indicators
an argument for or against an existing critic (or critical position) in relation to the author or group of works you are studying

an argument about the importance of a particular influence on a writer, or influence exerted by him or her

an argument for the importance of some hitherto little-regarded
piece of evidence to the discussion of the work of some author or group of authors

an argument about the value of a new theoretical approach to a text or set of texts

an argument turning upon the nature of the genre of a work or group of works

an argument about the significance of a little-known
or undervalued author or work;

an argument about some historical or literary-historical
aspect of literature

an argument about the adequacy of existing scholarly texts of a particular work;

an argument showing how a particular theme or concept may be related to a group of texts;

an argument bringing together some aspect of a well-known
literary text with a lesser-known text or with other media.

Assuming that you have an idea for a possible research project that is sufficiently tightly defined so that it is do-able in the time and space available, and further assuming that you have checked that you can get access to the necessary materials, you will usually need to write a research proposal for approval by your
tutor or supervisor.
Think of it as an exercise in persuasion:
you are trying to convince your tutor or supervisor that you have evidence (although as yet unexploited) to support the argument you propose to advance. You should present it in continuous prose, but arranged under a set of headings such as the following.
Based on the research topic selected and argument developed in above activity, write first draft of your research proposal on the line of indicators given below:
Title: Do not feel bound by this: it is important to have a title that is
clear and informative, but a first attempt can be altered in the
finished product

Argument: State as concisely as possible what your subject is and what your argument will be.

Materials: Go into more detail about your materials, i.e. the chief primary and secondary sources you will use and discuss, giving some indication as to their aptness for your project, and how easy it will be to get hold of them.

Chapters[1]: Show how you think your discussion of your topic may be organised, chapter by chapter, in the final product. This provisional chapter structure is very important, so make sure it is clear to the reader how many chapters there are going to be, what is going to go into each, how they will connect with each other, and how long each is planned to be. If possible, give provisional chapter titles

Conclusion: Clearly, this will be provisional at this stage. You have not yet argued your case, merely outlined the materials and likely directions of your argument. You might also like to indicate at this stage what problems you think you might encounter along the way.

Bibliography: A list of the key primary and secondary texts you intend using should be appended to the proposal – though, again, this list will be provisional and will certainly expand once you begin serious work.

Work Cited

Owens, W. R. (2010). Planning, Writing, and Presenting a Dissertation or Thesis. In D. D. Correa, & W. R. Owens, The Handbook to Literary Research (second ed., pp. 187-203). Oxon, New York, Canada, USA: Rourledge.

[1] You should be alluding throughout this section to the main secondary literature on your subject (historical, critical, theoretical, etc.), not just to demonstrate that you are aware of it, but to indicate how you might use it. So, for example, you might be planning to take issue with what some critic has said, or you may want to show how your work relates to, and perhaps extends or qualifies, some existing scholarship on your subject.

Monday 27 January 2014

Research: The Review of Related Literature (The Literature Review)

Cedalion standing on the shoulders of Orion from Blind Orion

New Testament Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) on the shoulders on Old Testament Prophets (Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses)

Review of related literature: 

  • This makes for the foundation - the stepping stones - for new research. It is like standing on the shoulder of the giants so that we can see farther than the giants (previous scholars) have visualized.
  • One should have birds-eye-view of the work done in the area of research which is to be explored. After understanding the work done, the research scholar should think of taking a step further in new direction in the research under consideration. The road-map of this new direction should be chalked out in research proposal. (While doing an online open course (MOOC) on Coursera - offered by University of London, i came across these articles on Literature Review. All three of them are worth reading: 

The Examples of Literature Review:

  1. Summarize
  2. Tabular Format
  3. What to do and what not to do
  4. Step by step guide
Important Steps in the Process of Literature Review
1. Make a table of all works reviewed or considered for review
2. Annotated Bibliography of selected works: It can be in chronological or alphabetical order.
3. Reorganise the 'order': Your 'hypothesis' shall guide you in reorganizing. This re-ordering depends on the flow of your arguments. Make your own trajectory.
4. Now write introductory and concluding lines. These lines shall be written to 'hook paragraphs' with each other. Write in such a way so the 'transitions' from one paragraph to another helps the 'flow of ideas'.
5. Now write 'Concluding Paragraph' of the 'Review of Related Literature'. Start with clear, strong and concrete statement. Make your conclusions about your 'Literature Review'.
6. Now, write 'Introduction'. The thesis statement shall be 'last' in the Introduction and 'first' in the Conclusion.

Video recording of the sessions on 'Literature Review'

Part 1: Ontology & Epistemology

Part 2: What, Why and How of Literature Review:

Part 3: Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Literature Review

The Presentation:

1. A focused reading with a specific purpose2. WHAT IS A LITERATURE REVIEW? • Many students are instructed, as part of their research program, to perform a literature reviewliterature review, without understanding what it is. Read more: Sources essential for LT • Sources are generally described as primary, secondary, or tertiary. • Primary: Primary sources are “materials that you are directly writing about, the raw materials of your own research.” • Secondary: Secondary sources are “books and articles in which other researchers report the results of their research based on (their) primary data or sources.” • Tertiary: Tertiary sources are “books and articles based on secondary sources, on the research of others.” – Tertiary sources synthesize and explain the work of others and might be useful early in your research, but they are generally weak support for your own arguments… at times they are challenged in your argument!4. What is Literature Review? • A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. • Occasionally researchers are asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography), but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or also a chapter in M.Phil/Ph.D.thesis.5. What is the purpose ofWhat is the purpose of Literature Review?  • Purpose - to convey what knowledge and ideaswhat kn owledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and whathave been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.their strengths and weaknesses are. • As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding conceptdefined by a guiding concept (e.g., our research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). • It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries6. What is ‘not’ Literature Review? – Not - chronological catalog of all of the sources, but an evaluation, integrating the previous research together, – But - it is to explain how it integrates into the proposed research program. All sides of an argument must be clearly explained, to avoid bias, and areas of agreement and disagreement should be highlighted. • Not - collection of quotes and paraphrasing from other sources. • But - good literature review should also have some evaluation of the quality and findings of the research.7. Why do a Literature Review? • to identify gapsidentify gaps in the research area • to avoid reinventing the wheelavoid reinventing the wheel • to carry on from where others have alreadycarry on from where others have already completedcompleted • to identify other people working in the sameidentify other people working in the same fieldsfields • to fathom the depth of knowledgefathom the depth of knowledge of your subject area8. Why do LR? • to identify opposing viewsopposing views • to put your work into wider perspectiveput your work into wider perspective • to identify methodsmethods that could be relevant to your project. • to identify seminal worksidentify seminal works in your area • to provide the intellectual context for your own work, enabling you to position your project in relationproject in relation to other work9. Two important objectives of LR:Two important objectives of LR: • Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas: 1.information seeking: the ability to scan the literature efficiently, using manual or computerized methods, to identify a set of useful articles and books 2.critical appraisal: the ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies10. A literature review must doA literature review must do these things:these things: • be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question we are developing • synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known • identify areas of controversy in the literature • formulate questions that need further research11. Ask yourself questions like these: • What is the specific thesis, problem, or research question that my literature review helps to define? • What type of literature review am I conducting? Am I looking at issues of theory? methodology? policy? quantitative research (e.g. on the effectiveness of a new procedure)? qualitative research (e.g., studies )?12. Ask yourself questions like these: • What is the scope of my literature review? What types of publications am I using (e.g., journals, books, government documents, popular media)? What discipline am I working in (e.g., Engineering, Psychology, Humanities, Pharmacy, Management)? • How good was my information seeking? Has my search been wide enough to ensure I've found all the relevant material? Has it been narrow enough to exclude irrelevant material? Is the number of sources I've used appropriate for the length of my paper?13. Ask yourself questions like these: • Have I critically analysed the literature I use? Do I follow through a set of concepts and questions, comparing items to each other in the ways they deal with them? • Instead of just listing and summarizing items, do I assess them, discussing strengths and weaknesses? • Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my perspective? • Will the reader find my literature review relevant, appropriate, and useful?14. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: • Has the author formulated a problem/issue? • Is it clearly defined? Is its significance (scope, severity, relevance) clearly established? • Could the problem have been approached more effectively from another perspective? • What is the author's research orientation (e.g., interpretive, critical science, combination)? • What is the author's theoretical framework (e.g., psychological, developmental, feminist)?15. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: • Has the author evaluated the literature relevant to the problem/issue? Does the author include literature taking positions she or he does not agree with? • In a research study, how good are the basic components of the study design (e.g., population, intervention, outcome)? • How accurate and valid are the measurements? Is the analysis of the data accurate and relevant to the research question? Are the conclusions validly based upon the data and analysis?16. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: • How does the author structure the argument? Can you "deconstruct" the flow of the argument to see whether or where it breaks down logically (e.g., in establishing cause-effect relationships)? • In what ways does this book or article contribute to our understanding of the problem under study, and in what ways is it useful for practice? What are the strengths and limitations? • How does this book or article relate to the specific thesis or question I am developing?17. Four Examples of Literature Review • Step by Step – drafting LR: Psychology. Systematic arrangement… • Ph.D. Thesis on ELT – Engineering Colleges in Tami . Summarizing… • Example with teacher’s remark on LR. What to do and what not to… • CALL – The best of all examples…18. Web Tools for LR:19. Web Tools helpful in LR: • Bookmarking sites: e.g. • Google Docs – - Prepare a ‘form’ – easy to manage records in auto-generated spread sheet. - Reference: • Read more: • Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination (Published in association with The Open University) Dr. Christopher Hart. • Any book on Research Methodology for respective subjects deals with ‘Review of Literature’. • Cooper, H. (2010). Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis: A Step-By-Step Approach. Los Angeles: Sage. (call number McHenry Stacks H62 C5859) • Machi, L.A. (2009). The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press. (call number McHenry Stacks LB1047.3 M33) • Deakin University. (2009). The Literature Review. Geelong, Victoria, Australia: Author. Retrieved 4th September 2009 from the World Wide Web: • The University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center. (2009). Writer's Handbook: Common Writing Assignments: Review of Literature. Madison, Wisconsin: Author. Retrieved 4th September 2009 from the World Wide Web: • Doing Your Literature Review: Traditional And Systematic Techniques (Paperback)by Jill Jesson, Lydia Matheson, Fiona M. Lacey (Sage Pub)21. Works cited:Afolabi, M. (1992) 'The review of related literature in research' International journal of information and library research, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 59-66.Bourner, T. (1996) 'The research process: four steps to success', in Greenfield, T. (ed), Research methods: guidance for postgraduates, Arnold, London.Bruce, C. S. (1990) 'Information skills coursework for postgraduate students: investigation and response at the Queensland University of Technology' Australian Academic & Research Libraries, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 224-232.Bruce, C. (1993) 'When enough is enough: or how should research students delimit the scope of their literature review?', in Challenging the Conventional Wisdom in Higher Education: Selected Contributions Presented at the Ninteeth Annual National Conference and Twenty-First Birth . pp. 435-439.Bruce, C. S. (1994) 'Research student's early experiences of the dissertation literature review' Studies in Higher Education, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 217-229.Bruce, C. (1994) 'Supervising literature reviews', in Zuber-Skerritt, O. and Ryan, Y. (eds), Quality in postgraduate education, Kogan Page, London.Bruce, C. S. (1997) 'From Neophyte to expert: counting on reflection to facilitate complex conceptions of the literature review', in Zuber-Skerritt, O. (ed), Frameworks for postgraduate education, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.Caspers, J. S (1998) 'Hands-on instruction across the miles: using a web tutorial to teach the literature review research process' Research Strategies, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 187-197.Cooper, H. M. (1988) 'The structure of knowledge synthesis' Knowledge in Society, vol. 1, pp. 104-126Cooper, H. M. (1989) Integrating research : a guide for literature reviews, 2nd ed, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, Calif. • Leedy, P. D. (1997) Practical research: planning and design, 6th ed, Merrill, Upper Saddle River, N.J.Libutti, P.& Kopala, M. (1995) 'The doctoral student, the dissertation, and the library: a review of the literature' Reference Librarian, vol. 48, no. 5, pp. 5-25.Mauch, J. E.& Birch, J. W. (2003) Guide to the successful thesis and dissertation: a handbook for students and faculty, 5th ed, Marcel Dekker, New York.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Presentations on Research Methodology: Introduction to Research Methodology, Literature Review and Plagiarism

Presentations on Research Methodology:
Introduction to Research Methodology, Literature Review and Plagiarism

Research Methodology in Humanities, especially, in English literary studies is important to the aspirants of M.Phil, Ph.D. or to the research scholars/teachers who wish to apply for minor or major research projects to UGC or similar funding agencies.

Some important points to be kept in mind while preparing research proposal for Ph.D. / M.Phil in language and literature are:
  • Method and Methodology: Guba, E.G. (1990) in 'The Paradigm Dialogue' has argued that there are three fundamental research questions that structure any research project:
    1. What is there that can be known – what is knowable?
    2. What is the relation of the knower to the known?
    3. How do we find things out? 
     Ann Gray in 'Research Practice for Cultural Studies' (2003 - Sage Publication) elaborates these questions:
    • What is there that can be known - what is knowable?
    This is an ontological question, it refers to the aspect of social reality to be studied, but it also deals with assumptions we are willing to make about the nature of reality. It requires you to take a position in relation to your project and to define your ‘knowable space’. How you construct your knowable space and how you go about exploring and investigating that knowable space will depend upon your theoretical approach to the social world and the actors
    or texts involved.
    • What is the relation of the knower to the known?                                                      This is an epistemological question and, put simply, asks how we know what we know. The assumptions that are made about this depend on how we perceive of the reality, and, although Guba does not suggest this, how we are located as subjects within our research. What we bring to our work, how our own knowledge and experience is brought to bear on the research itself will certainly shape it. This is not a question of being ‘subjective’, nor to suggest that we can only view aspects of the world from our own perspective. Rather,  it is to acknowledge what we ourselves bring to our research in terms of our lived experience, certainly, but also our politics and our intellectual frameworks. It is important to make these explicit. The point about who we are and how we relate to the project itself is a key issue for researchers and, again, has informed many debates about research practice and the politics of knowledge generation.
    • How do we find things out?
      This is methodological questions. What kind of methods must I employ in order to know, or to put me in a position of being able to interpret and analyse this aspect of the social world? This, then, is where you can begin to think about the kinds of data you need and how to gather it in order to begin to explore your research questions
  • Theoretical framework: A researcher stands on the shoulders of previous researchers. The scholars who have worked and given general theories in the area of research should be taken as frame within which new work is explored. The aim of this new work should be to support, refute or go for new theories. This should be clearly defined in the research proposal.
  • Review of related literature: This makes for the foundation - the stepping stones - for new research. One should have birds-eye-view of the work done in the area of research which is to be explored. After understanding the work done, the research scholar should think of taking a step further in new direction in the research under consideration. The roadmap of this new direction should be chalked out in research proposal. (While doing an online open course (MOOC) on Coursera - offered by University of London, i came across these articles on Literature Review. All three of them are worth reading: 
  • Hypothesis: This makes for the research questions > the problem which is to be solved. If there is no problem, there is no need to solve it and hence no need to do research. So, first of all identify problem. Ask questions, doubt and apply deconstructionist approach to raise questions. The hypothesis will emerge from this exercise. Write hypothesis in clear statements.
  • Objectivity Most of us tend to select topic of research not because there is a problem which requires urgent solution but because we are personally, emotionally attached to it. The very first and foremost thing to keep in mind is 'depersonalization'. It is advised to read T.S. Eliot's Tradition and Individual Talent - Part II on poetic process > "It is not an expression of emotion and feelings but an escape from it."One should practice 'detachment' to be a good researcher. Like an umpire in the cricket match, totally engrossed and right at the centre of the match, yet aloof, detached - completely away from the emotions and feelings that drive players and audience.So, the researcher is engrossed, submerged in the research, yet can detach him/herself to critical evaluate his/her own position. It is observed that most of the research scholars fail to achieve this position and so are not able to raise proper questions > they remain emotionally attached and are, thus, blinded to empirical evidences necessary to make statements in thesis/dissertaion.
  • Plan of research (Chapterization): Normally, there are five chapters in thesis/dissertation:
    • Chapter 1: Introduction: It should include, theoretical framework, concept clarification, aims, objectives, hypotheses, research questions and introduction to writers, key terms etc.
    • Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature: All that can be reviewed i.e. theories to be applied, conceptual notes, similar research theses/dissertations, journal articles, books etc should be mentioned with annotated bibliographic record in this chapter. Remember, this is the foundation / stepping stones on which you have to stand or walk your path towards the climax in your thesis/dissertation. The more sound work is done here, you will find the it easy to write chapter 3 and 4.
    • Chapter 3 and 4: These are core chapters in thesis/dissertation. The research questions, hypothesis, analysis of literary texts, analysis of elt experiments etc are thoroughly discussed in these two chapters.
    • Chapter 5: Conclusion: In the entire thesis/dissertation, if there is any space where research scholar is free to write his/her views, it is this chapter. Do not cite any thing. Do not use in-text citation. This space is all yours. You are free to give your interpretations and make the most of it. What ever you have reviewed in chapter 2, whatever you have analyses in chapter 3 and 4, now its time to connect dots - join the arguments - and bring your story to a beautiful end.   

In this video, you will find basics of literature review and about 'ontological' and 'epistemological' approaches to research question:

This presentation gives an outline of model syllabus for such courses. It also presents some views of Richard Altick and John Fenstermaker from 'The Art of Literary Research'.

Literature Review or Review of Related Literature is one of the most vital stages in any research. This presentation attempts to throw some light on the process and important aspects of literature review.