This unit aims to assist candidates to clarify their research problem by analyzing the context from which it is derived and by deconstructing the tentative conceptual issues to illuminate and amplify the problem. Candidates will be introduced to and guided to use a comprehensive array of data bases and be mentored through critical reflective experiences to generate a logical narrative, culminating in the justified articulation of their research problem as they appreciate it at this early stage. This understanding in turn is employed flexibly in the initial investigation of the scholarly literature to produce a literature map with a major annotated literature framework accompanying it. The framework represents an understanding of the content knowledge which underpins the research pursuit. This stage is the pre-requisite of the literature review to be attempted in the subsequent unit.
In this unit, candidates are encouraged to think critically about the production and reception of a variety of texts and to view writing as social practice that requires deep engagement with the text. It teaches students to construct persuasive arguments that are logical, ethical and engaging. Candidates are assisted to paraphrase, summarize, and evaluate peer-reviewed research while using graduate-level mechanics. Candidates must write a scholarly document that expresses complex thinking in a logical coherent manner. Writing is presented as a process involving research, reading, literature search, writing, drafting, revising, editing and collaboration. Candidates will also be taken through practical sessions in the APA Style of referencing. The focus will be on the most relevant aspects of scholarly writing as presented in the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Instruction and practice is provided in references and citations, reducing bias in language, headings, lists, statistical and mathematical copy, italics and capitalization, numbers style, and table and figure formatting. Exercises will be designed to help prepare candidates for successful writing experiences in coursework assignments and academic writing later on at doctoral level.
- Lecturer: Prof. Pamela Norman