Presenting my First Narrative Thinking

Hi everyone. Last week I had the opportunity to share some aspects of my research at the Narrative workshop. The workshop served as a platform for me to share my methodological thinking and receive constructive feedbacks from other doctoral students. Here are some highlights of my experience.

My presentation was divided into two parts: The first part consists of some theoretical and methodologies points from the literature. I decided to begin by introducing the definition of narrative, the element of narrative, types of narratives and how meaning is imposed on narratives. This knowledge would help beginners like me to understand briefly what is a narrative research. I also highlighted the works of prominent scholars of narrative research: such as; Mishler (1995), Reissman (1998). Apart from that, I summarised how narrative is positioned in the education field- in particular doctoral supervision. The second part of my presentation consists of the outline of my study- such as; my research aims and research questions; insights from the literature regarding doctoral supervision, theoretical perspectives; the data generation and data analysis methods.

To illustrate what my research topic is about and how I plan to conduct my research methods, I came up with a quick activity for the audience. In pairs, partners were instructed to complete tasks of story telling and re-storying. The reasons behind this activity are twofold: 1- to introduce how I intend to generate the narratives from a one-on-one narrative interview; 2- and how I am going to analyse the narratives by employing a narrative approach to data analysis.

I learned so much from this presentation. For instance, from the questions that I received, I realised that I still need to work on my theoretical perspectives. Perhaps in my next presentation, I would discuss initial findings from my pilot study as informed by the theoretical lens. Feedbacks that I received from the activity also provided me with some perspectives of possible challenges of narrative research. For example, some participants pointed out some challenges in listening to the stories narrated by their partners while others expressed challenges in representing and capturing the stories. In sum, I enjoyed doing my presentation and I learned a lot from the experience. Apart from gaining confidence in presenting my research thinking, I also received many valuable feedbacks that will help me improve my study. So, thank you for reading and wish me luck for my next presentation at the SEED PGR Conference 2015 🙂



  • Siti Fitriyah

    We really enjoyed your presentation dear Fida 🙂 and I believe our audience found it interesting and useful *as reflected by their request for your slides…million thaanks… 😀

  • Richard Fay

    Sounds great Fida.

    Such ‘outings’ for our ideas are invaluable. We can learn how these ideas ‘fly’ with different audiences, and can develop ways of fluently talking about these ideas to different audiences, adopting different foci, fulfilling different purposes etc, but as informed by a good understanding of what we want to say and how we might say it with grace and authority.

    I wish there had been such opportunities when I was doing my doctorate. Becoming a narrativist back then was a lonely business – I was the only one interested in this methodology, and although my supervisor was very supportive, narrative was something new for her as well. With hindsight, I can see clearly that much of my narrative work in the thesis can be characterised as my ‘talking my way into narrative-methodological sense’ rather than me reporting my narratively-undertaken study. If I’d have had the earlier opportunities to run my ideas by differing audiences, my actual thesis text could have been much shorter and more and better focused.

    Ah well, hindsight is a wonderful thing. 🙂

    • Rafidah Sahar

      Thanks Richard for your valuable insights. I will continue to develop my thinking by sharing my ideas through these platforms; workshops, conferences.

  • Rafidah Sahar

    Thanks Susan

  • Susan Dawson

    This sounds as if it was such a positive experience for you, Rafidah. There is certainly something very developmental in having to explain your ideas to others in a presentation. I hope the next one goes well 🙂