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3.1.1 Background information

Gamelan is the name given to a number of related musical ensembles in Indonesia. These ensembles comprise various types of instruments, the majority made of metal and most struck with beaters. There are several gamelan traditions, of which three are particularly well-known. These three are, moving from east to west, the Balinese, Javanese and Sundanese gamelans. (The term Javanese gamelan normally refers to the tradition developed in central Java; the Sundanese, who occupy the western part of
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5.2 The application

The first application I shall describe is that of an online bookseller. Such a book sales system would carry out a number of functions:

  • It would allow the user to browse through a catalogue of books.

  • It would allow the user to browse through a list of the most popular books, with the list being updated every hour.

  • It would provide the facility whereby a user can buy books and add them to a notional shopping basket.


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8 Analysis, argument and critical thinking

In this section, we are going to look in detail at analysis and argument. Analytical thinking is a particular type of higher order thinking central to much academic activity. It is concerned with examining 'methodically and in detail the constitution or structure of something' (Oxford English Dictionary). This includes looking at variables, factors, and relationships between things, as well as examining ideas and problems, and detecting and analysing arguments. Many essay questions require ar
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7.5 Mind-maps

Mind-mapping can be a particularly powerful visual tool for shaping thought. The basic principle here is to note down the central topic or idea in the centre of a piece of paper and work outwards adding the points which flow from and connect to it. It is particularly helpful for seeing the different levels of thought discussed above. Figure
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7.1 Hierarchies of ideas

A useful way of giving sense and structure to ideas can sometimes be to see them in the form of a hierarchy. At one end is the ‘big picture’ (e.g. general context, principles, theories, ideas, concepts) and at the other end are particular facts, examples and other details. For example, the concept of living things contains the category of animals and plants. Animals contains the category of mammals, which contains the category of dogs, which contains the specific type of dog called Dalmat
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6.3.1 Stage 1 Brainstorm

To begin your planning, you need to generate ideas or brainstorm. At this stage, you are including everything that you think may be relevant. Nothing should be dismissed yet; this part is about gathering your resources and your thoughts.

For instance, using the essay title ‘There are advantages to studying as a mature student. Do you agree?’, we tried to brainstorm for ideas and produced this list (but, of course, it wasn't this tidy):


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6.1.1 Report planning

Table 2 highlights the elements of a science or technology report, though the same general principles apply in other disciplines too.

Table 2 The main elements of a science or technology report

ElementPurposeDescription
title
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5.2.2 Opening up ideas: analysing the question

What do you need to know about your assignment? Most importantly, what it's about (i.e. the topic). Once you have worked this out, you are in a better position to gauge how much you already know and how much you will need to find out.

Activity 9


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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 understa
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8.6 Research skills

This kind of work teaches some very valuable skills:

  • how to set about an enquiry

  • how and where to find source material and information

  • how to make your own investigations

  • strategic planning

  • time management

  • cutting corners and being pragmatic

  • analysing and interpreting primary and secondary source material

  • forming your own conclusions<
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8.4 Carrying out research

During this stage you get down to the business of analysing and interpreting the meanings of all your primary and secondary source material (documents, reports, newspaper accounts, books and articles), in the ways outlined in the previous sections of this course. As you do so you will be making notes towards your project report. In this connection, it is very important to write down full references for all the material you use as you read each item. Then you can easily find part
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7 Beliefs and theories

‘Authorities’ – critics, historians, philosophers and so forth – of course argue from their interpretations of what a work of art, an event or an idea means. And their judgements are based on certain beliefs – about the nature of the objects they study and about what they themselves do as readers and interpreters of them. From our discussion of ‘Meeting at Night’ you have seen what my beliefs are: that people can reach some understanding of a text through the proce
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1.1 Analysis, interpretation and evaluation

When you study a painting, for example, you take it apart to see how it ‘works’ as a painting. You analyse it ‘as it is in itself’, because this gives you many clues to what it might mean. But that analysis is complicated by the fact that the way we understand a painting itself changes over time. For instance, what a religious painting might have meant to the artist and his contemporaries in sixteenth-century Italy cannot be the same as it means to us now. We do n
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand aspects of human culture, past and present

  • analyse various ‘objects’, interpret their meaning and evaluate them.


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4 Supply and demand: Kiran's story

The first six months have just flown by. I've really enjoyed working with the two or three schools that I chose following my conversation with my friend who is a student. I feel that I have established a good reputation for reliability as well as keeping the classes moving forward in their work. My family
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7.2.1 Mean, median and mode

The mean, median and mode are all types of average and are typical of the data they represent. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and can be used in different situations, but they all give us an idea of the general size of the values involved. Here we provide brief definitions, and some idea of when each should be used.

The following set of data is the number of miles (to the nearest mile) walked in a week by a group of students. You are going to look at how to calculate the mean, m
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7.1 Introduction

Charts, graphs and tables are all very helpful ways of representing a set of data. However, they are not the only ways of passing on information about data. This section looks at how you can analyse a set of data to summarise the given information as briefly and simply as possible.

Essentially, there are two features of a set of data that enable summarising: the average and the spread. This section starts by looking at what is meant by ‘average’. If you have already studied Worki
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5.2.1 Discrete variables

The charts about different modes of transport and that on attendance figures at a range of cultural events all use what might be called ‘word categories’. Each category (e.g. bus, rail, cycle, and walk) is quite distinct from any other in the set of categories. Such distinct categories are known in mathematics as ‘discrete variables’.

Word categories are not the only type of variable that is discrete; numbers can also be discrete. For example, at the beginning of this section, w
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4.1.1 When are line graphs used?

A line graph shows a relationship between two variables. In other words, it shows how one thing varies by comparison to another. For example, a distance-time graph shows distance varying against the time of day, or the start time of a journey. The distance increases when a vehicle is moving but remains the same when the vehicle is stationary.


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4.1 What is a line graph?

This section covers line graphs. We define the format, give some ideas about when it should be used, and draw some graphs. You can have a go at drawing a line graph in Activity 6, based on data that we supply.

A line graph, at its simplest, is a diagram that shows a line joining several points, or a line that shows the best possible relationship between the points. Sometimes the line will go through all of the points, and sometimes it will show the best possible fit. The line does not h
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