Assignment 4 – Research – Starting point

Having never written a ‘critical’ essay before, I’m finding the prospect a little daunting. I’m confident in my general writing ability and am quite able to structure an essay, but my knowledge is limited when it comes to academic writing and photography theory (i.e. the content).

To that end, I wanted to identify some key areas for research. I’ve done this using a mind-map, which is essentially split into 2 parts:

  1. Reading – Books, articles and websites that I need to visit in order to enhance my knowledge of photography theory, thus enabling me to better understand my subject.
  2. Writing – Areas of research/examples that will help me to ‘construct’ my essay in an academic/critical way (and enhance my knowledge).

The .pdf version of the mind-map has live links to each of my initial research areas, and is uploaded here so that I can have access across devices and at work. The .jpg is purely a graphical representation (the links do not work).

As suggested by my tutor, I’ve started to keep a record of all my references. for this I’m using I’ve also listed the complete references in my mind-map for future reference.

Mind-map: Assignment 4 Research areas.pdf

I’ve identified a lot of areas to look into, many of which will offer up new avenues of research. With this in mind, I’ve set 3 priorities so that I can start to formulate my approach whilst conducting research concurrently.

  1. Identify a subject photograph. I’m keen to follow my tutors advice and look for an image that will allow an exploration of male body image, but this could prove difficult. There is little written on the subject and finding reference material and differing views could be problematic.
  2. Learn more about Semiotics. Read into the work of Barthes and the practical application of semiotics to read a photograph.
  3. Learn more about Deconstruction. Read into the work of Derrida and gain a deeper understanding of how an image can be deconstructed.

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