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Thread: Start Making a Good PIP!

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    Ancient Orator Survivor39's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Start Making a Good PIP!

    I have been the S&C Moderator for three year and every year students concern about issues like “What is an interesting topic that I can do?”, “is my topic novel enough?”; and even “Where do I start?!!” So I have decided to write a piece on how to address these concerns as I *finally* got some free time from my hectic uni work.


    What is a PIP topic, a focus question, and a hypothesis and aim?

    Whenever you start going through ideas in your head regarding what you want to research for 12 months, you arrive at a topic of interest, which is general at first, like “masculinity in Australia”. That is your initial PIP topic. You cannot do much research with that because it is not specific enough for you to gather detailed information to score you a good mark.

    A focus question is important because you, as a researcher, should ask yourself questions. What exactly do *I* want to know? Please be specific! I know it’s hard but go over your S&C notes and textbook and come to something. Don’t forget to read excerpts from past HD PIPs and see how they formulate their own focus questions and aims with high specificity. For example, in the PIP titled “Moisturising Masculinity, the author wanted to know how print advertising media, societal change in Australian over the past 50 years has allowed a ‘feminisation’ of masculinity in contemporary culture. This is what a good focus question should be. Once you got this in your mind, it is then easy to re-write your focus question into a hypothesis and aim.

    Hypothesis (What I do think is happening): In the context of the print advertising media, societal change in Australian over the past 50 years has allowed a ‘feminisation’ of masculinity in contemporary culture”. A good hypothesis in the Introduction is critical because it shows your way of thinking. Are you thinking like a researcher? Or are you thinking like a year 11 student who just knows many S&C concepts?

    Aim (what is it that I want to find): To determine the role of print advertising media, societal change in Australian over the past 50 years in the ‘feminisation’ of masculinity in contemporary culture.

    You MUST clearly state your hypothesis and aim in your Introduction. I know I have a scientific background and this might sound a bit science-ish. But ALL research projects are the same and require you to explicitly express what EXACTLY are you doing and what you are trying to find. I cannot emphasise this more strongly. The markers need to know WHAT you are doing!


    What are PIP topics that I haven’t seen before?

    This is another common question that people always ask me. Generally many topics are strongly associated with the S&C syllabus, which is always safe to do. I have came up with a few ideas which you may want to explore. Remember, the PIP topic is not just about the media influence, gender stereotype, power, and socialisation. I urge you to find something that are not only relevant to Society and culture, but relevant to you.

    Think about your school and family life. What are important to you? Assessments? Exams? Learning? What is more important - Assessments or learning? Why do we care about assessments? I haven’t seen a PIP examining assessments, yet all of you are obsessed with getting good marks and ranks. But make sure you make your topic relevant!

    In your family life, do you ever wonder the differences in a single-parent family and a family with both parents? We all know parental figures are important But what are father figures important for what aspects of your life, your behaviour, your ideology, and your social and cultural literacy? Equally, why is a mother figure important? For what purpose in the context of the S&C course. Who nurture what aspects of your life?

    You can also find out more about a particular field that are interesting to you, like medicine, but in a social context. E.g. do you notice that alternative medicine is on the rise? What are the driving forces behind its increase use? Is western medicine going to last forever? What is mental health? Why does it have a certain stigma attached? Why people don’t think of the issue in the same light as someone who has arthritis or heart diseases?

    The list can go on and on. But please it your topic relevant, not how novel it is!


    What now after that I have identifed my aim and hypothesis?

    You need to understand what primary and secondary methodologies are. What they are used for. You should pick 3-4 methodologies that are most useful to find what you need to find. I know this sounds obvious but you have no idea how many people got this wrong!

    After you have your aim and hypothesis, it is suggested that you do some reading to get a basic understanding of what you are dealing with.

    Aim -> Basic Secondary research -> Primary research to gather information in support of your hypothesis -> Further secondary support to reinforce your findings from primary research -> Conclusion


    I can't think of anything to add at the moment. Please give me suggestions as to what you want to find out in general. But if you have specific questions relating to your PIP topic, post in a new thread and not here please.


    Survivor39
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    lwy and potatodog like this.

    PhD, University of Cambridge, 09-12
    MSc, UNSW, 08-09
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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    OMG Thankyou so much.

    You are amazing.

    This is so appreciated!!!!

  3. #3
    noir.
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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Just to add to Survivor39s post…

    There are heaps of people on here who come up with PIP topics that aren’t really PIPs and don't relate to Society and Culture. Read the "no-go PIP topics" thread to see what ideas SHOULD NOT even be the basis for a PIP.

    Areas that DO relate to Society and Culture include

    - Belief Systems [focusing on one, or comparing two]
    - Popular Culture [focus on one - Animation, Teen Movies, Rock Music etc]
    - Leisure [basically sports and activities that allow persons to interact with others make sure when doing this that you relate it to course concepts like Class, Status. Leisure is RISKY]
    - Technology
    - Continuities and Changes
    - Gender [change in roles over time. you may want to compare gender roles in 2 societies]
    - Peer groups and sub-cultures [influence on others. also risky to do because you may wind up talking about stuff that's not S&C]


    and there are more!

    you will easily get an A range mark [25-30] if you do everything correctly.
    that is,

    1) choosing a suitable topic that relates to Society and Culture
    2) Selecting appropriate methodologies [it's recommended you do 4]
    3) Showing evidence of social and cultural literacy [this is society and culture after all, and no one cares if you hate a certain race, belief system. gtfo of society and culture!]
    4) Being ethical
    5) Integrating concepts throughout the PIP. concepts = MARKS.
    6) DON'T GO OVER THE 5000 WORD LIMIT.

    NO-GO PIP TOPICS INCLUDE

    - Abortion. keeps your values and beliefs to yourself. no one cares if you're against it or not. this doesn't relate to society and culture
    - Divorce. markers don't care and don't think you'll get sympathy marks
    - Depression.
    - Drugs.
    - P platers
    - Relationships with family members and how crap affects them. no no no
    - Sub-culture groups and how they're rad and how emo's are affected by others.

    You've pretty much got the point

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    New Member angel.cries's Avatar
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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    you are a legend. PhD in science?

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Yep I'm doing a PhD in science.

    PhD, University of Cambridge, 09-12
    MSc, UNSW, 08-09
    BMedSc (Hons I), UNSW, 04-07

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    you said relationships with famly memebers is a bad topic,

    how about 'dating practices in adolescent religious groups/ different cultures?'

    i am really interested in this topic, i have sent this to my distant ed teacher but have not gained a reply yet..

    is it a no go?
    Brista

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    Ancient Orator Survivor39's Avatar
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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    I think it's fine as long as you have the right research methodologies to find the answers to your focus question. e.g. How do these dating practices differ between different groups? More importantly, WHY are they different? If you can design your methdologies that will help you address these two questions, then you are on your way.

    PhD, University of Cambridge, 09-12
    MSc, UNSW, 08-09
    BMedSc (Hons I), UNSW, 04-07

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    thanks so much for taking to time to post up such useful tips. I am thinking about looking into the Institutionalism of censorship in regards to times of war. i was thinking about comparing the vietnam and iraqi wars. However i am concerned that this might not relate enough to society and culture and i am having trouble goinging deeper into this topic. any advice?

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Quote Originally Posted by cass1992 View Post
    thanks so much for taking to time to post up such useful tips. I am thinking about looking into the Institutionalism of censorship in regards to times of war. i was thinking about comparing the vietnam and iraqi wars. However i am concerned that this might not relate enough to society and culture and i am having trouble goinging deeper into this topic. any advice?
    Your topic is definitely related to Society and Culture. You can add a level of complexity to your topic by consider the concepts of continuity and change in censorship over time. How has censorship changed from Vietnam war to the Iraqi war? What aspects have remained the same? More important "why?"

    The "why" part is where you can explore different theories introduced during the Society and Culture course and link these theories to your own argument. Use different research methodologies to then get the answer (evidence) and back up your argument.

    I hope this helps!

    PhD, University of Cambridge, 09-12
    MSc, UNSW, 08-09
    BMedSc (Hons I), UNSW, 04-07

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    It does. thanks so much!

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    Ancient Orator Survivor39's Avatar
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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Quote Originally Posted by yups View Post
    would a topic about the elderly be a good idea?
    You have to be far more specific in your topic then that. We cannot offer much help on such a broad topic.

    PhD, University of Cambridge, 09-12
    MSc, UNSW, 08-09
    BMedSc (Hons I), UNSW, 04-07

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Hi sorry to bother you again i just wanted some advice on my proposed chapter headings. My topic is looking to explain the changing nature and levels of ownership of the power of censoring through the comparison of the Vietnam and Iraqi wars. The chapter headings i have are:
    1.The nature and characteristics of Post World War Two censorship
    2.The ownership, control and characteristics of the influence of the media (should i change this to stakeholders to make it more broad?) in regards to censorship during the Vietnam War period
    3.The ownership, control and characteristics of the influence of the media in regards to censorship in the Iraqi war period in comparison to the Vietnam War.
    Critism about my chapter headings is welcome.

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    Ancient Orator Survivor39's Avatar
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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Examiners are looking for an integrated approach on the subject, rather than chapters dividing the subject matter. That is, a good PIP is one that integrate by comparing and contrasting the Vietnam and Iraqi war THROUGHOUT the entire PIP, not just something you decide to tag on in the last chapter. At the moment this is what it feels like; for exmaple, Chap 2 and 3.

    I hope this helps.

    PhD, University of Cambridge, 09-12
    MSc, UNSW, 08-09
    BMedSc (Hons I), UNSW, 04-07

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Hi.
    Just wondering if I'd be able to get some advice from you.
    My PIP's working title so far is:
    Asian Acculturation dilemma or Eastern Educational advantage?
    – the relationship between ethnicity and educational attainment.


    So basically, what i'm focussing on is: what drives an asian child to succeed compared to a 'white-westernised child', and what specifically culture has to do with this achievement. I'm also looking at whether or not environment (Australia) is ideal for Eastern cultural learning styles, and whether Eastern learning influences Western learning, or vice versa.
    Now, i know that there is a lot of stereotyping involved here, but the secondary research i have is monumental in supporting that there is a difference in drive - whether it be parental pressure or other internal or external forces. I've handed out interviews in my school, but i plan to do an ethnographic study at a Sydney school soon, which will be all my primary research done.


    i haven't divided my work into chapters as of yet, but i was thinking i would like to structure my work so that it contains past, present & possibly future?


    ANY heads up would be fantastic, and as said above, any type of criticism is welcome!!


    thanks so much!!
    English Advanced - 83 / Extension 1 - 36 / Extension 2 - 48 / Society & Culture - 89 / Biology - 88 / Visual Arts - 94 / Drama - 86

    NSW ATAR: 94.10

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Hey i'm doing youth homlessnes for my PIP topic. Do you think this is a good idea?

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    I've changed my PIP topic several times since starting the HSC course, and I've come to this topic;

    The interactions within generations and how technology has affected privacy of information over social networks.

    I've so far done a mindmap of the 9 concepts and how they relate so that I can narrow the topic a bit further.
    I'd like to know if its a good topic, and if i should focus on one social network, i.e. facebook? or if i should look at a range of them, as well as mobile phones and such?

    help would be greatly appreciated!
    "Time is the best teacher. The only problem is, it kills all its pupils"



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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Hi guys! Please take some time out to complete my media violence questionnaire for my HSC major work !
    Thanks so much xx

    http://obsurvey.com/S2.aspx?id=9763f...1-6250074a6217

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuarG View Post
    Hi.
    Just wondering if I'd be able to get some advice from you.
    My PIP's working title so far is:
    Asian Acculturation dilemma or Eastern Educational advantage?
    – the relationship between ethnicity and educational attainment.


    So basically, what i'm focussing on is: what drives an asian child to succeed compared to a 'white-westernised child', and what specifically culture has to do with this achievement. I'm also looking at whether or not environment (Australia) is ideal for Eastern cultural learning styles, and whether Eastern learning influences Western learning, or vice versa.
    Now, i know that there is a lot of stereotyping involved here, but the secondary research i have is monumental in supporting that there is a difference in drive - whether it be parental pressure or other internal or external forces. I've handed out interviews in my school, but i plan to do an ethnographic study at a Sydney school soon, which will be all my primary research done.


    i haven't divided my work into chapters as of yet, but i was thinking i would like to structure my work so that it contains past, present & possibly future?


    ANY heads up would be fantastic, and as said above, any type of criticism is welcome!!


    thanks so much!!
    hey i was hoping to do a PIP topic similar to yours but with the Indian heritage. i want the aspect of 'what drives the Indian/western adolescent to succeed. instead of focusing on the Eastern learning style and eastern learning influences i wanted to focus on something else. do you have any suggestions? any feedback would be great. thank you

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    Re: Start Making a Good PIP!

    could someone please complete my survey
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NT2J3QH

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