Things to do… Contextual Report

I need to make a start on the contextual report. I have found the notes made last term, and need to construct a structure. I need to formulate a concrete academic idea, and then drive the report towards that idea.

Notes from that lecture are below: Re-reading the notes, it is the critical reflection that needs maximum focus. Process, and history are self evident, and merely a regurgitation of history.

The place of focus needs to be now on Critical Reflection.

Kartini: 3 December 2013.

Contextual Report:

Handed out reports are shorter than what we need, but the evaluative grade is a distinction and the direction we need to go.

Structure of your writing and what needs to be included.

4-5000 words.

“Sustained independent theoretical investigation and critical reflection on your practice presented as formal writing.”


Historical, Contemporary… theories, theorists, documentaries, artists exhibitions…all tied back to the subject.

Discuss how you arrived at this point via the work done in previous years…


What methods and media approaches used… why and how? More than a simple list!  How have you experimented.. how does the technique used relate to your body of work.

Critical Reflection:

Development and progression of the project. What are the key turning points…?

The Report:

‘Tiz a short academic dissertation.

A conversation between theory and practice. Analysis and critical interrogation.

….. ideas for construction and pointers.

Retrace first steps and making personal historical connections..  the journey that got you here.

Declare areas of interest.

Draw in relevant references, and extending discussion through analysis and visual examples.

Remain relevant… do not pad it out with “Wikipedia history and life descriptions.”

Discussion of technique, and why you used those methods.

Experimentation with technique and decision making process.

Use of relevant quotes in relation to analysis. [Harvard Referencing] preferred, but running notes still OK.

Keep quotes short and relevant…  pick the key points out of the block.

Make the quote, develop the quote and reference it back to your work.

How does the audience engage with your work… Justify what and how you are engaging with the audience.

The Open University’s Stairway to Critical Thinking is just one way of describing this set of skills.  It provides a step by step approach to research and critical assessment of a subject:

Process – Take in the information (i.e. in what you have read, heard, seen or done).

  • Understand – Comprehend the key points, assumptions, arguments and evidence presented.
  • Analyse – Examine how these key components fit together and relate to each other.
  • Compare – Explore the similarities, differences between the ideas you are reading about.
  • Synthesise – Bring together different sources of information to serve an argument or idea you are constructing. Make logical connections between the different sources that help you shape and support your ideas.
  • Evaluate – Assess the worth of an idea in terms of its relevance to your needs, the evidence on which it is based and how it relates to other pertinent ideas.
  • Apply – Transfer the understanding you have gained from your critical evaluation and use in response to questions, assignments and projects.
  • Justify – Use critical thinking to develop arguments, draw conclusions, make inferences and identify implications.

Provide ample visual evidence charting your practical development. Pull in outside sources, analysis of the used images and how it relates.

Offer a thorough analysis of your work in relation to broader critical concerns.