My research aims to understand how significant the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is in facilitating cultural violence in northern Nigeria. My thesis uses a diverse range of methodological choices and provides some opportunities to produce a multimodal thesis. But, even though I have a wealth of visual data, I don’t think I have enough to produce a thesis where that would be the focus. Furthermore, I love to write and the past few week’s activities have reminded me that brainstorming and freewriting are useful tactics to view my research question in a new light. These processes have shown me that I can produce my best work and best do justice to the findings I have by producing a written thesis. 

This means that I need to plan a clear structure beforehand to include my visuals in the most logical and seamless way. I have numerous screenshots of WhatsApp messages, but these text messages are too long to appear in the text without being disruptive. Therefore, I will quote them, include screenshots with particularly salient information, and display the full versions of these texts in addendums at the end of my thesis. Social media posts that are made public will be easier to reference. Where necessary, I will quote these posts and provide screenshots, and hyperlink the original posts so that readers can view them if they want. This is also the procedure I might follow for particularly violent posts, although this is something I am still reflecting on, as I do not want to shy away from discussing and providing evidence of some of the worst aspects of the conflict. I will also include visual depictions of my data through graphs and other diagrams provided by some of my analysis software, like Tweetdeck, where necessary. These visualisations are not too time-consuming to create and some are even created automatically and are a really helpful and engaging way of presenting my findings. 

Thesis outline:

I am still in the process of naming my chapters, but I will begin by providing a historical context of the complex socio-political environment of northern Nigeria and then discuss the conflict and the key role players. I will ground this analysis in theory from conflict studies.

Through analysing my findings and completing the assignments for this class, I have noticed that different forms of media incite different kinds of responses. To explore and explain this idea, I will have sections for the different forms of social media I have analysed, and draw comparisons using media studies theory.