Subject: Thesis
From: Damien Braniff <Damien_Braniff -at- PAC -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 12:20:45 +0000

Firstly, thanks to all who responded to my initial query re possible thesis
topics. I've now successfully completed the Diploma year and it's now down
to the real work! The options were a traditional academic thesis or a
project based piece of work with an "academic" critique. Those who
responded to my initial query, by and large, suggested the latter (easier,
more relevant to work etc). As I'm being sponsored by my company this is
the route they prefer and there are currently three possible options.

We are currently developing a new (next generation!) access control
system to eventually take over from our existing "flagship" product.
The options are available for both the online help/docs or the
associated hard copy lit. This is currently in the early stages of
development and (probably) won't be complete by the time I finish the
thesis. This doesn't really matter as the critique can apply equally to
the planning, structure, audience analysis etc.

Training literature. We are also currently looking at providing CBT to
accompany our products and re-inforce the training provided by the
training dept. This would involve the investigation of what products
are available, cost vs benefits and so on. Crititue applied to
investigation and final outcome - training CD etc

Style Manual. We are investigating (about to start) creating a company
style manual to standardise the lit throughout the company,
re-inforce/teach (!) basic grammar etc.

All three are perfectly valid topics and all quite "doable". What I'm
after is opinions/suggestions on background lit in the relevant areas. The
thesis is 10-15000 words with approx 80% assigned to the critique with the
other 20% used to "scene set". Actual lit produced (Help file/training
lit/Style Manual) will appear as Appendix and won't count towards the word

As I said, all can be done but it's finding the one with the most reference
lit which can be used in the critique - showing how I've used what I've
learned in the last two years, relation to academic research and so on.
There are two (possibly three) good university libraries in Manchester
which are easy to get to and Sheffield (where I'm doing the MA) run a
reciprocal university agreement which will get me a library card for which
ever I feel is best - I sense a Saturday checking them out!

All suggestion re background/reading etc will be most welcome - I think
it's going to be a very busy year ahead!


Damien Braniff
Technical Author
PAC International

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