Monkey Pilot

The idea of a pilot study is to check the research design: test the questions, the length of the survey, the data being collected, and the method by which it is collected.  My first lesson was about paper questionnaires.   intended to have them available because I wanted to ensure no data bias, by giving access to those without internet at work.  I very quickly realised that many – if not all – have internet connection on their devices, and certainly at home.

Although it wasn’t cheap, Survey Monkey questionnaires look great, viewed on all devices and operating systems.  The builder works very well too.  I managed to create the questionnaires just in time before a busy period at work.  I was also fortunate with the translation to Arabic which was done and checked by kind colleagues.  A few minor edits and I was live at the beginning of October.During the past four weeks, I posted links on my social media accounts and sent emails out to friends and family.  I was hoping to achieve 50 or so responses.  I am thrilled to have received more than double that.

The exercise of analysing these responses should also shed some light on any changes I need to make before I start my empirical work at the end of the year.

Literature Review

I was not sure where to start and I was told by my supervisors that the best way to write one is to read a few Literature Reviews and not books on how-to… It is good advice and I am reading a few examples from theses online.  Howver, there is so much information online that I had to see something about the structure.  I wanted to make sure I am not falling into traps that other authors may have fallen into.  The best (and shortest) guide I came across is by UCSC and is available on their website:

How to Write a Literature Review

Update 11 October 2012: Here is another good one.

Find a PhD

In preparation for the work that I will hopefully start soon, I have been searching for forums and blogs about PhDs and found a great place which has already been of help.  I joined their forum as a prospective student and asked a question in the forum about where to find archives of successful theses.  I received a reply within minutes, garnished with words of encouragement.

Check out the link below for everything you can imagine you would need to know about doing a PhD and click the link on the top right hand corner for the Postgrad Forum.