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7.3 Review the whole process

Before you file away your assignment and return to your current study, spend a little time reviewing the whole process of preparing, exploring, implementing and reviewing your assignment. Review what you did and how you did it in each of the four phases. Trying to identify just one thing that went well and one thing that you could have done differently can help you in your future study. Remember that your review should focus on the process of the preparation
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1 The experience of reading

The best way to develop your understanding of the reading process is to follow the principles of the Kolb learning cycle, by doing some reading and then reflecting on your experience. To this end, Activity 1 asks you to read an extract from an article by Richard Layard (2003) titled ‘The secrets of happiness’ which appeared in the New Statesman. To keep the task manageable I have reduced the article to half its original length and, for ease of reference, paragraph num
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4.2.1 Theories of globalisation

There are many different theories relating to globalisation. Some see globalisation as positive or beneficial. These theories argue that globalisation will encourage ‘good things’ like the growth of online communities that can span the world and might be able to break free of repressive regimes. Others suggest that there will be negative consequences to globalisation. They argue that globalisation makes it easier for jobs to be exported to wherever labour is cheapest. In this view there a
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7.1 Translating your plan

You have now reached the stage when it is time to translate your plan, whatever its form, into the assignment itself. It is likely that this will be a first attempt at the exercise – a first draft. You may be one of the lucky few who only needs to write one draft. Or, if you have taken some time over your planning, one draft before the final version may be enough. But if you are finding it difficult to reconcile opposing points of view or to fit in a great deal of information, you may need
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3 The purpose of writing

Let's take a step back and think about why you are writing assignments. As with most tasks, if you have an understanding of why you are doing something and how it fits into the bigger picture, it is easier to define what is required of you and therefore to do a good job.

So, what do you see as the reasons for writing assignments? Here are some suggestions:

  • to meet the assessment requirements of my course;

  • to demonstrate my under
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6.2.2 Representing visual and symbolic texts

We saw that when you discuss your judgements of a visual text such as the landscape painting or The Madonna and Child, you talk about its ‘composition’: the way the ‘picture space’ is organised; the relationships between ‘foreground’ and ‘background’, and between ‘figures’. You discuss the way ‘perspective’ is used in the painting to show ‘depth’; the painting's tonal range’, and its uses of ‘colour’, ‘shape’, ‘line’; ‘light’ and ‘shade
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6.2.1 Quoting from written texts

We have seen that when you are discussing a poem, you talk about its ‘rhythms’ or movement, its patterns of sound such as ‘rhyme’, and its ‘imagery’ and ‘syntax’, quoting words, phrases and lines from the poem as evidence of the points you want to make about it. And this applies to play-texts and novels, too. As you discuss the ‘characters’ involved, you quote parts of their ‘dialogue’ or passages from the ‘narrator's’ descriptions of them. You also quote
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6.2 Different kinds of ‘evidence’

The terms you use and the ways in which you support your argument depend on the subject you are studying and what kind of text you are talking or writing about.


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6.1 Making a convincing case

If you were talking to a friend about a picture hanging on your living-room wall, you might say: ‘I really like that portrait because the man looks so lifelike’. That is, you'd make some kind of judgement about the painting. (I've never heard anyone say ‘I really like that portrait because of that little white brush stroke in the top right-hand corner’.) So, in effect, you turn the process we have just been through on its head. When you are communicating your ideas to other peo
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5.3 A ‘circle’ of understanding

It may seem as if analysing, interpreting and evaluating a text are ‘stages’ we go through, one after the other. But it's nothing like as mechanical as that. You do not analyse a text into separate parts, then ‘add up’ those parts to produce some interpretation of the whole, and then evaluate it. Rather, analysis–interpretation–evaluation are overlapping processes. They are different kinds of activity, as we have seen by looking at them separately. But when you try t
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5.1 The values represented by the text

As we have seen, you are fully immersed in the text while you try to discover how it works and what it is about. But in order to make some judgements of it you have to shift your stance a bit. You have to ‘stand back’, as it were, and ask yourself: What do I think about these things I have discovered?

Basically, you need to ask two kinds of question about the text's ‘value’:

  1. What values are represented in the
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4.3 Analysis and interpretation

We have got to the point of recognising that this is a lyric poem, and of thinking that it is probably about a lovers’ meeting. But you cannot reach firmer conclusions about a text's meanings until you have looked at as many aspects of it as you can. I think we need to go back again to the detail of the poem, because the analysis is not full enough yet.

For one thing, there is something odd about the poem's syntax. If you look at the verbs in the first verse you'll see that they are a
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3.2 Carrying out an analysis

Here, then, is the two-verse poem we will focus on in the next few sections of the unit. As you see, I have left out the ends of the lines in the second verse. So it presents you with a kind of ‘puzzle’. (But I have included the punctuation, and added line numbers for ease of reference.)

  1. The grey sea and the long black land;

  2. And the yellow half-moon large and low;

  3. And the startled little waves that leap

  4. <
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3 Roles

Quite often in work situations we are asked to work with a group of people we have not met before and with whom we may seem to have very little in common. The group, which may be labelled a ‘team’, could be tasked to organise or produce something about which some of the members may know more than others. After a period of initial awkwardness perhaps, the group members start to find out more about each other and attend to their task. It is quite likely that each of the members will then te
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2 Relationships

In reality, a message like the one just referred to above is just one of many which forms part of the ongoing relationships we have with the people we work with. How we get on with each other can have a huge impact on the interpretation of a given message, and the subsequent effects that might have on their motivation or morale.

The next idea we will introduce is a framework for assessing how relationships are established and evolve, based on the states of mind of those involved
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions). This content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

All materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.


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8.5.4 Manage each stage of the work effectively

Effective management means putting your resources to work and monitoring your progress. For each stage of the work you will need to gather together the resources necessary in good time, and maintain the co-operation of other people working with you. Think about how you will keep the project moving forward for all those involved. Are the goals still clear, or have you become enmeshed in detail?

Use milestones or review points to keep your plan up to date and, if necessary, modify your pl
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5.2 Developing a strategy

In developing a strategy for improving your IT skills you are aiming to:

  • identify the opportunities you can use to develop and practise your IT skills;

  • establish the outcomes you hope to achieve and targets for meeting them;

  • identify the resources you might use for developing your skills, including people who might be able to help you as well as books, study guides, tutorials, specialist training, databases, libraries
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5.1 Introduction to improving your skills in information technology

This key skill develops your information technology (IT) skills in your studies, work or other activities over a period of time. To tackle all of this key skill, you will need to plan your work over at least 3–4 months to give yourself enough time to practise and improve your skills, to seek feedback from others, to monitor your progress and evaluate your strategy and present outcomes.

Skills in information technology cover a broad range, from using software unitages to developing a c
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4.4.1 Organise and clearly present relevant information

You need to know how to present information in ways that best suit your purpose, subject and audience, that is how to structure coherently what you say so that a sequence of ideas may be followed easily; how to use a range of techniques to help present information and support your argument (such as diagrams and models), and when to use technical vocabulary and conventions. Check that your work meets relevant guidelines and conventions. You may have guidelines about this at work and different
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