Unit 12 week 3 How to research

For this task we were demonstrating that we knew various research methods in order to research more effectively by finding more useful and relevant information by using the tools on Google to filter out or expand results. We did this by doing a case study into skateboards because they are a neutral product that we could work together to research.

On Google we learnt how we can improve our search results by using different symbols in our searches to either broaden or narrow down the results depending on what we wanted to know. One of these was to add an asterisk at the end of a search term to broaden it to include more than just that term, so that it opened up the information that we could find if we weren’t sure exactly what to search in order to find the information. Doing this for the word “skate” meant that I was able to find a lot of information about skateboards in general that would have been harder to find if I did not use that technique as I would not have known what specifically t search for in order to get the information.



We started by making a mind map of what we already knew about skateboards. This included things like famous people and uses in pop culture. By doing this we realised we knew more about skateboards than we thought and this informed our ideas of what we needed to research further.


To start our further research into skateboards we watched a documentary called Dogtown and Z-Boys about the origins of skateboarding and a group of people who were pioneers of the sport. From this film we learned more about famous people involved with skateboarding and how it became popular which led to us knowing what questions we could research into to find more information on skateboards. The questions we wanted to know the answers to were;

  • When was the skateboard invented?
  • Where was it invented?
  • Who invented it?
  • How popular was skateboarding in the 1960’s?
  • Why did skateboarding stop being popular in the 1960’s?
  • What happened in skateboarding after 1975?
  • Why is it becoming an Olympic sport?
  • How have skateboards evolved over the years?
  • How has skateboarding fashion evolved over the years?

Once we had these questions we divided them up in our group and each person was tasked with finding out the answers to those questions. I discovered that between 1960 and 1963 over 50 million skateboards were sold and also was able to help the person researching why it stopped being popular as I discovered that a health and safety expert claimed that skateboarding was unsafe and this led to parents not allowing their kids to use skateboards which resulted in a drop in skateboard sales and the sport died down for a while.


Once we had all researched our question we made a second mind map that contained all the information we had learned since the start of the task.


By doing this task I have learned how I can use different tools on Google to ensure that I get the most relevant and useful results and I can use this for my own research to help me find information easier if I do not know what to search to find the information that I want.

1960’s – Skateboard history (2010) Available at: http://skatehistory.weebly.com/1960s.html (Accessed: 16 January 2017).
Once we had researched skateboards in order to learn new research techniques we were tasked with using that knowledge to research our own chosen subject that is related to what we want to do for our Final Major Project to increase our knowledge and understanding of the subject. I chose to research the history of sound in Film and Television as I did not know much about the beginnings of sound and wanted to find out more about this because sound is the discipline I am focusing on for my FMP.
 Since I felt did not know much about when sound was first used in Film and TV i did not make a mind map of what I knew already, instead I went straight into researching when sound was first used and what it was like.
From my research I learnt that even before sound was used in films they were never completely silent as they would be accompanied by music in some way or another, either through a orchestra or someone on a piano. When sounds were eventually being used in films there were a lot of problems causes by the technology of the time, as it was very difficult to sync the sound with the visuals and also to amplify it in a way that everyone in the audience would be able to hear. Also, the early sound cameras and other equipment were so big and noisy that they had to be kept in their own soundproof room when recording, which was known as a “blimp”
In 1926 Warner Brother debuted the Vitaphone, which was the first commercially viable sound system. Warner Brothers used this device for their film The Jazz Singer which was released in 1927 and was the first major movie production that had sounds synchronized to the actors performance.
Foley is a sound recording technique that has been used in films since 1927 but experiments in what would become this were happening before this time. Jack Foley had the idea to start recording sounds in sync with actors movements to try and make it seem more authentic as by recording it in sync with different props and surfaces could create unique sounds that would be different for each character depending on what they were doing.
By doing this research I learnt much more about when sound was beginning to be used in film and the many problems they had when they were starting to use it and what they had to do to work around those problems and how the art of Foley was created and why it is still used in modern films. I have also developed my research skills as I was building on them from the skateboard task. This task has broadened my knowledge of my chosen area and will be useful for my FMP as it has given me information on the historical context of sound.
 The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (no date) ‘History of the motion picture – the pre-world war II sound era’, in Encyclopædia Britannica. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/art/history-of-the-motion-picture/The-pre-World-War-II-sound-era#ref508068 (Accessed: 23 February 2017).
History of Foley (no date) Available at: http://skylerradis.weebly.com/history-of-foley.html (Accessed: 18 January 2017).
Pacific Cinémathèque the on – line production resource at Pacific Cinémathèque PAGE : 2 www (no date) © pacific Cinémathèque the on-line production resource at pacific Cinémathèque THE LANGUAGE OF FILM. Available at: http://thecinematheque.ca/education/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/LanguageofFilm07.pdf (Accessed: 18 January 2017).
Slater, J. (1998) Dion sound. Available at: http://www.cinematechnologymagazine.com/pdf/dion%20sound.pdf (Accessed: 18 January 2017).
Vitaphone (no date) Available at: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/belknap/exhibit2002/vitaphone.htm (Accessed: 18 January 2017).
Winokur, M. and Holsinger, B. (2000) Movies and film: A brief history of sound in movies. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/cig/movies-flicks-film/brief-history-sound-movies.html (Accessed: 18 January 2017).

One thought on “Unit 12 week 3 How to research

  1. Liam, you have provided some context for the first part of this task and explain some of the research activities but this work is not complete. While you have correctly explained that this task was intended to develop your research skills, you have not discussed the methods you used beyond the mind map, documentary and Google search. What search terms did you use? What results did this yield? Was this effective? How could you have improved your research process?
    Moreover, you have not discussed the research you conducted into your own discipline! Where is the explanation of this work, what you researched and your results? This was the ultimate purpose of the task and you must ensure that you include this with your work.


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