January 06, 2020
In this webinar we have been looking at the mirroring technique and more specifically on how to gradually mirror out the structure of your literature review chapter and so to assure that literature review, data and findings, and analysis and evaluation all add up.
The webinar was structured alongside four parts; in the first part we discussed more generally the mirroring technique, followed by the second part that looked into how mirroring could be applied in support of bringing together the data and the literature parts, the third part then looked into pre-requisites for the successful use of mirroring, and the fourth and final part provided an overview about how mirroring could be applied in the thesis sections.
In an earlier webinar on the matter, it has been already highlighted that, in a nutshell, mirroring can be a key to REDUCE THE TIME: ‘time to problem understanding’, ‘time to results’, ‘time to key literature’, ‘time to methodology crafting, ‘time to write the thesis up’, and ultimately ‘time wasted’. Take a look at the below image to see for yourself how mirroring can guide you!
And while the time aspect certainly holds valid, there is more than the time component about it and as discussed in this webinar by looking at three different utilities that mirroring could provide to you:
Mirroring as a tool to map out the research
Mirroring can be used as an analytical tool to critically assess if all relevant fields are covered. It allows to gradually mirror out the structure of your literature review chapter and so to assure that literature review, data and findings, and analysis and evaluation all add up.
Mirroring allows you to understand how the Data and Literature parts of the thesis relate to each other. And where there is no relation in between your findings and the earlier literature review it can serve as a tool to put a consistent narrative in place.
Mirroring thus provides guidance in the back and front juggle so to understand how the different parts of the thesis inform each other, to see miss-matches and uncovered fields, or to evaluate the relevance of the different sections of the thesis so to critically assess what shall be kept and what to let go.
Mirroring as a mean to provide a holistic view of the work
Mirroring supports you in developing a holistic view of your work. The point here is, that research is not a linear thing. And it is not like you are going to complete your thesis on a chapter after chapter base. As a matter of fact, you might not even want to spend too much time on the initial literature review chapter. You sure will need to build up a robust knowledge base around your research problem, and this surely will require a good amount of initial readings. But the criticality of the literature review will come from the critical contrasting of your findings and observation against those provided in the literature.
Likewise, you surely won’t want to collect all-of-the-data in one, two, or perhaps three big data-collection-chunks, nor would one want to simply follow a pre-set and preformulated data collection path, and one surely would not want to artificially isolate the analysis and evaluation of such data from the various and dynamic moments in time that these are collected. There is a continuous learning and development, and there are double, triple, and, you name it, feedback loops, and which all should be taken into account and fully utilized so to support the research and thesis development.
Given that at the initial stage your findings and observations, and your understanding about your research problem will be relatively limited, so will be the degree to which you will manage to engage into a critical literature review. But with the findings and observations becoming more and more available, your problem understanding will become more and more precise and sharp. Therefore, mirroring is not only about a front and back juggle within the thesis, it also provides guidance so to analyse, evaluate and understand your research as such, to see apparent patterns, leverage points, or short-comings of your doing, and how to take your research further.
Mirroring as a guide to write up the thesis and helps setting the narrative and focus
Mirroring can be used as a technique to develop the structure of your thesis: be it the mirroring of headings, mirroring in the sections, mirroring across tables-sections-heading, or be it the building up of your key-word list. It is a gradual process though, and it has quite some dynamics in the development and directions. And while each research project and thesis might be unique, the way mirroring can guide you to write up the thesis and helps setting the narrative and focus appears to be rather straight forward.
If you are interest in learning more about mirroring, please be welcome to replay the webinar recording, access the full slide deck, or to use the webinar’s discussion board, or get in touch with us via the contact form.