I made lots of changes for my final draft, the most major of which was removing my final chapter on Bricolage, I decided that this topic didn’t fit with the others and was making a very different point. I concluded that by losing this chapter it would improve my dissertation and allow my to expand more on the other points.
I also did a lot of restructuring to make the chapter flow better, this was helped by introducing a short introduction, conclusion and linking sentence to the next chapter. I also added in more pictures to support and illustrate my points better.
I have noticed a great improvement in my writing from the proposal form to the first draft and to the final draft, this is mainly just due to practice and some useful advice from Ashley. I feel proud to the progression I have made while writing my dissertation and feel that I have created the best piece of work I can.
I found the tutorials with Ashley very helpful as I was able to discuss ideas and develop points with her help and guidance. She offered me advice on books to read, such the Derek Fraser, The Evolution of the Welfare State, and areas to do further research.
The most helpful aspect was being able to hand in my first draft to be marked and get feedback. Ashley gave me a lot of advice on how to improve my writing style and convey my arguments better. I also got clarification on referencing and that by including fewer quotes it would let the writing flow better allowed for more analysing and in depth discussion.
Another areas that I needed to improve on is my spelling and grammar – in order to this I have made a concerted effect to read everything thing through and also get someone else, boyfriend or family member to check for any mistakes I may have overlooked.
Initially I found writing my dissertation very daunting, staring at a blank page of paper wasn’t helping therefore I began by writing a plan for each chapter and forming arguments or points for discussion, which helped me to to subdivide my chapters. Once I had a basic structure I was able to start forming a more detailed argument. I used my research and the quotes I had gathered while reading to support my arguments.
Initially I found writing the introduction hard as I need to set the seen and give an outline of what is to come without giving away too much and repeating myself later. However with advice from Ashley and the handbook I got the hang of it, once it was written I found the introduction very useful to refer to while writing.
I started writing my chapters based on my plan, and included quotes as references as I went along. I tried to back up very point I made with a quote or reference, to give my argument support from academics and theories. I also collected several images that I referred to throughout my writing. I worked hard to get a first draft completed in order to be submitted and marked by my tutor, I wanted my work to have a profession feel so I worked a lot on the layout as well as the title and contents pages.
In order to give my study more understanding and depth on some of my topics, I was required to do some further reading. I was keen to learn more about what life was like for the working classes during the Industrial Revolution and whether their lifestyle had an impact on the rug making of the period. I looked at several books to help me gain this knowledge, the most useful of which was ‘The Evolution of the British Welfare State’ Derek Fraser (1984). I also felt it was necessary to research more into William Morris, the Bauhaus and war rugs in order to give a more rounded opinion and have a better knowledge of the subjects that I am discussing.
I would not have been able to do this research with out the use of the electronic library, I have used Summon to help me find book, e-book, journals and e-journals and much more. I have found this resource very helpful and user friendly, I have also used several of the libraries databases, such as Art Full Text and Cite Me Right, which has also been beneficial.
I started researching Moroccan rugs for my Field project, after a trip to Marrakech in January 2014 I was fascinated by the craft of rug making. I did lots of research into the equipment and techniques involved, I even made a small loom of my own to create samples. For more info on this project look under my Field Project Category
This initial research formed the starting point or my dissertation idea, however I knew it needed lots of refining to create something suitable for a dissertation. After several tutorials and discussions with tutors I decided on doing a comparison between Moroccan rugs and British rag rugs. I now had the idea and had to start looking up information on the two subjects.
This research led me to books like this;
Rag Rugs of England and America, Emma Tennant (1992) and Arts and Crafts of Morocco, James Jereb (1995)
From reading these and others I started picking up on key point that have effected the craft, I was keen to learn more about what factors can change a craft such as rug making.