Hobbit Camp

Hello Signum University Hobbit Immersion Campers!

My name is Luke Shelton, and I am a PhD student researching how young readers interpret J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Signum agreed to send a link to this page to you because of your interest in The Hobbit!

Would you like to share your opinions about The Lord of the Rings?

In this research study, participants get to share their thoughts about:

  • main characters
  • settings
  • themes or ideas

If you would like to share your thoughts on topics like this and are under the age of eighteen, please consider taking part in this research study! 

Since the study involves minors, assent from participants and consent from a parent or guardian is mandatory before participating. See the forms below for more information!

To participate in the study, or for more information, please contact Luke Shelton: J.Shelton2@outlook.cardiffmet.ac.uk

Project Description

Summary of Project

The purpose of this PhD research is to: (1) examine children’s perceptions and experience of reading The Lord of the Rings; and (2) evaluate the differences between children’s interpretations and the interpretations shown in Tolkien scholarship.

What Do Participants Do?

The project is split into two parts. First, participants complete a sort survey that asks some questions about The Lord of the Rings. All of the answers are your opinion, so there are no right or wrong answers! If this is the only part of the project you want to complete, that is great! Just pick the ‘No’ option on question 12, and you will not be asked about an interview.

If you want to complete the second part of the research, you will look at some landscape and interior pictures with the researcher and answer questions about The Lord of the Rings. You will also complete an activity about some of the main characters from the story. Again, there are no right or wrong answers, the researcher wants to know your opinion. The pictures will help us have a good conversation about the book! This conversation will be audio recorded to help the researcher accurately recall what you say.

*Please note that the second part of the study asks participants to meet with the researcher for an interview, either in-person or online!

To participate in the study, or for more information, please contact Luke Shelton: J.Shelton2@outlook.cardiffmet.ac.uk

What Happens With My Answers?

Image copyright Ted Nasmith, used with permission

The data from all participants will be compiled and trends/themes will be identified. Individual responses may be quoted in presentations or publications, but the identity of participants will never be revealed.

If you would like more information, consent forms and information sheets are available from the researcher. These will also be provided to participants and guardians prior to participation.

Do I have the right to withdraw from the project when I want?

Yes, participation is voluntary and any participant is free to withdraw from the project at any time without penalty and without giving any reason. If you choose to withdraw after data has been collected, but prior to any possible publication, your data will be destroyed and not included in the study.

Will anonymity be protected?

Yes, every effort will be made to maintain anonymity. The results from this research will be compiled and included in a PhD thesis. Individual responses will remain anonymous. Access to the data will be restricted to the researcher, their supervisors, and markers.

About the Researcher


Luke Shelton is a part-time PhD student in the School of Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University and also teaches as an adjunct professor at East Tennessee State University. He recently received East Tennessee State University’s Allen Award for Outstanding Graduate student and currently serves as the Assistant Technical editor of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. He received his M.A. in English Literature from East Tennessee State University in May of 2017.


Pertinent Documents

Child Information Sheet

Parent Information Sheet

Child Assent Form

Parent Consent Form

To participate in the study, or for more information, please contact Luke Shelton: J.Shelton2@outlook.cardiffmet.ac.uk

Project Supervisor

Dr. Dimitra Fimi, Senior Lecturer in English at Cardiff Metropolitan University, dfimi@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Ethics Approval

Cardiff Metropolitan University School of Education and Social Policy Ethics Committee contact person: Dr. Keiran Hodgkin, khodgkin@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Ethics approval reference number: CSE20171812.