ORTON ACADEMY AND RESEARCH
Bespoke online tuition and research support
A word from Orton Academy and Research creator and director, Dr. Jane Orton
"I started Orton Academy and Research when I realised that a lot of people who were coming to me via tutoring agencies were not just looking for tuition that would get them through their exams or tick off bureaucratic boxes. They were adults with a genuine interest in developing knowledge, perhaps with the aim of writing a book or doing their own research projects. Similarly, A Level and university students didn’t want to just stuff information into their heads or memorise the right phrases to get marks in an exam – they had chosen their courses out of genuine interest and didn’t want to sacrifice the excitement of learning about their chosen subjects just for the sake of getting through the qualification.
I use the term ‘academy’ on this site to reflect the ideals of the Academy of Plato: the pursuit of knowledge not for the sake of getting a qualification or fitting into an institution, but out of a genuine love of wisdom. I hope you’ll look around the site to read about some of the work we do, listen to lectures I’ve given and find out how I can help you with A Level and university tuition, adult interest courses, developing your research project or writing your book. There are other tutors and researchers here but it's likely you'll be working with me as your first point of contact: read about my background, approach to scholarship and what it's like to work with me here. I wanted this site to be a place that people could come to learn about our exciting research and get inspiration for exciting topics to explore themselves, so do make yourself at home!"
I am not affiliated with a university or research institution. Can I do my own research as an independent scholar?Yes. Engaging in your own research is a rewarding and valuable endeavour and you have a lot to offer. Many people who do not have multiple university degrees or an affiliation to an organisation feel that they cannot pursue their chosen project without being 'validated' by certain institutions or unless they come from an academically privileged background. This is simply not true: some of the most valuable contributions to knowledge have been made by independent scholars and even the most decorated and esteemed academics suffer from 'impostor syndrome.' The fact is that we all benefit from having a diverse range of talented, enthusiastic and consciencious people from different backgrounds working in collaboration on important issues. However, independent research is not something to be undertaken lightly: there are many ethical, practical and safety issues to consider and you will still want to hold yourself to high standards of integrity and academic rigour. We are here to help you decide on how to go about your research without compromising on any of these values: from gaining an excellent grounding in the academic literature surrounding your area of interest, to deciding what extra training you might need, to assisting with the design, development and implementation of your project or fieldwork. Contact us for a free consultation session to find out how to get started.
Which areas of research can you help with?We can help with projects in any area of the humanities, including Anthropology, Folklore, Classics and Ancient History, History, Philosophy, Politics and Religious Studies. If you are writing a book and don't know where to start, we can walk you through the research process, help you hone your ideas and plan out your book, and provide feedback on your work. We also offer assistance with conservation and wildlife projects, especially those involving community engagement and cultural heritage. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your ideas.
What are some examples of previous projects?We have previously designed and implemented research projects on Himalayan folklore, Classical Greek political philosophy, animal symbolism in Tibetan Buddhism, the development of ancient geometric proofs, and the anthropology of Berghain, Germany. We have assisted with the development of research projects including investigations into the treatment of minorities in Burma, Donyipolo practice in Arunachal Pradesh, UK pressure groups and indigenous religion in Sikkim. Our fieldwork assistance has also included conducting interviews, data collection, wilderness survival training and health and safety procedures in South Africa, Costa Rica, India, the Altai Republic and Peru. All of our research project consultants have a minimum of ten years’ theoretical and fieldwork experience in locations across the globe. Read our blog for more on these exciting topics.
What kind of help do you offer?You will receive a free initial consultation in which you will be able to share ideas and anxieties about your project, and in which we can plan out your next steps. Following this, you decide the level of involvement you need from us: we can carry out research for you, give feedback on existing projects or assist with project design and development. We can be with you every step of the way, from providing training in the academic background of your area of research, to assisting with project planning and practical advice. Alternatively, you might want to work with us on a consultation basis, in which we provide occasional feedback and support. Contact us to find out more and get started.
Can you help with my undergraduate dissertation?We are happy to work with undergraduates who wish to explore ideas for their dissertation topic, perhaps through tutorials on their chosen subject. We are also happy to provide feedback on drafts and ideas, and to talk through academic debates, project structure and methodology. Many undergraduates feel intimidated by the thought of doing their own library-based or fieldwork research with minimal supervision from their university. However, we believe that you are very capable of doing an excellent job and we will not do your work for you or engage in any other unethical practice that amounts to cheating. Instead, we will work with you to enable you to stand on your own feet and produce a dissertation of which you can be proud. Contact us to get started.