Diving straight in with a dissertation question


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Hello there people, I'm new here and I have a question about my dissertation topic if anyone would like to dish out some advice I would be very grateful. :thumb:

I'm currently in my 2nd year studying graphic design and I'm trying to narrow down my topic, but I'm having some problems outlining my dissertation, where I am going with it.
First of all I am quite content with the topic of cyberculture and delving a bit deeper, I was thinking something along the lines of "an investigation into the effects of cyberculture on modern advertising communication".
I don't know if that's such a great way to put it. What I'm trying to say is that I would like to discover how cyberculture has influenced modern advertising language, so much so that all ages and cultures can understand many cyberculture references.

There we go, sorry if it's a complicated question, I do waffle sometimes :icon_smile:
Thanks /Sarah
You're doing a dissertation in your 2nd year? As well as one in your 3rd year?

Welcome to the forum by the way.
Hello Sarah,

Are you comfortable with the word cyberculture? Have you conducted a preliminary literature review? Is the word still in use, in recent publications?

How do you define 'modern'?

Would it be better to be more specific re: communication?

Which uni btw?

Thank you for your replies. I'm in my 2nd year currently but we are doing our proposals this week and the due date has been brought forward to January next year, so I'm planning on starting the dissertation this summer (as we have been advised to).

I was comfortable with the word cyberculture until you just asked me, now you have me thinking, maybe I should be looking if there have been other words.
I am defining modern as the 1990's until this day, so about a 20 year span.
I have looked at some books that may be helpful and was going to loan them on an inter-library loan before purchasing, then I can hopefully choose the most informative to the direction I choose. The list is saved on Amazon which I can paste here.
For communication, I mean language and techniques that communicate differently now, rather than 10-20 years ago. I wanted to avoid the social media part of it, but I'm very interested in the underground of cyberculture now being part of the average persons lifestyle, most people being slightly tech savvy and knowing how to e-mail, etc. How these advances have triggered new ways of communicating to those people (for example, internet slang).

Thanks, you have me thinking further already :icon_smile:

Edit: I forgot to add that I am studying at HCA it's not a University but a specialist college which I think there are only 4 remaining in the UK.
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Does it thrill you? Does it make you passionate? Or angry? Or excited? Or is it s subject you picked because you thought it would be a clever title for a dissertation? Not being flippant, but it's a lot easier to write about stuff that gets your juices flowing than having to research something just because you've got 30,000 words to write.
Hello, Yes! It does thrill me. I believe the whole investigation of it will be very enjoyable to research and write about. It has taken me quite a while to zone in on a particular area of culture and design, although I'm not sure how much depth the advertising element will bring. I guess I am still unsure about it because I'm not confident how to tie in the references to graphic design and advertising. I was thinking of how today, most people have access to desktop publishing and photo editing software at their home computers maybe I could investigate the effect this has had on graphic design, but we have been told not to talk about a specialism and I fear this is close to that.
I'm a mature student and I remember and experienced some of the evolving cyberculture since 2000. I feel I already have an insight and a great interest in this topic. Any more brain pokes are welcome :icon_smile: It really helps to be questioned about it as I put together my proposal. Tips on any recommended books that you have read or heard about are very welcome too.
I'm certain our dissertation is 8000-10,000 words, not as terrifying as 30,000.

Books will help. More recent / credible will be academic journals - you'll find that the library subscribes, you can access (even at home) and download. Will be cutting edge / authors will have also written up research in texts. Find out the leading authors and see what they've written for published journals.

My other life is in academia - so happy to assist.

Do you bump into Guy Begby @ HCA - he's involved in print bindery (on loan from UWE I understand).
That's good. It makes a change too - most students don't think about their topic to nearly that extent.

Oh, and 30,000 was a figure I plucked from the air. I personally hated writing my dissertation, I just wanted to get on and make great work. I don't think writing a massive essay helps you in any way other than giving you a sore wrist. The time would have been better spent learning something useful like presentation skills, of how to get to the right brief with a client. Or just being creative.
I was informed about the library journals but didn't know how to access them until you just told me how invaluable will be. I am going to register with Athens to access the content on DAAI this afternoon, so thank you for that. Accessing from home will be a bonus too.
Thanks guys, you have been a massive help already :thumb:
I may be back to pick your brains more in the future.