Playing top trumps

21 Apr

I am working on finishing up my method section this weekend. Like my Lit Review, it’s something I’ve never done before so I have no idea if I’ve hit the point or produced something that doesn’t do the job at all. I’ve tried to be as specific as I can about what I’m actually going to do, but perhaps haven’t been so clear about how I’m going to do it. I’m meeting my supervisor on Wednesday so hopefully she will let me know how to improve it!

After my method is finished, I’m going to be working on getting my introduction chapter all tied together. I’m going to be re-visiting my Lit Review and method, and linking them in with an introduction to the collection, the aims of my research, definitions for some of the more problematic terms I’ll be using, and an overview of my source material.

I was told once that the first sentance of an essay should always be an interesting hook, and that has always stayed with me. For example, for my MA dissertation on medieval living history re-enactments, I opened with the story of the Eglinton Tournament in 1833. The Victorians loved a bit of romantic revival, but the joust all ended in tears after a lot of rain and horses falling over in the mud. Victoria said ‘it served them all right for taking pleasure in such a thing’. I can’t really remember the point I wanted to make with the anecdote,  but I wanted to start my essay with a bit of fun as I knew the rest of the essay would get a bit serious very quickly.

I was thinking how to start my PhD. The very first sentance of an 80,000 word essay. A book, essentially. I’ve already begun writing, but I haven’t yet written the very ‘first’ sentance. There is a lot of pressure to set the right tone for the whole research, but also make it interesting and a bit special; a bit ‘unique’, just like my research.

In 2011 (I think?) there was a grouping of museums in the North West to promote the stories of modern histories. I was working at Tatton Park and the Museum of Science and Industry, and both were taking part. Children were encouraged to visit as many sites as they could and get a passport stamped. With so many stamps, they could send off for a pack of top trumps, featuring many of the heroes of industry from the North West. I was excited that Maurice Egerton was one of the cards. I recently dug my packet out and have had a few games of an evening (what a frustrating game! It takes hours for one us to win, and that’s usually only because I give up!).

Anyway, I’m thinking of starting my PhD with Maurice’s STATS. Bizarre, random and unusual- just like Maurice, my research, and me!


One Response to “Playing top trumps”

  1. Gail April 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Well done Sarah, keep up the good work, I liked the unofficial stories of Maurice from the previous post, always good for a bit of drama, and you know I love top trumps!

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