Nicola Hamilton – Final Reflection

What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?

At the beginning of the module I found it difficult to narrow my research topic down as I wanted to study gender history but was not sure which time period to focus on. After narrowing my research down to women in the First World War, I was able to choose a specific area in Scotland to carry out my research. However, the two newspapers I would like to look at require an online subscription, so I am trying to find access to these newspapers elsewhere. Also as I am looking at the period 1914-1918, I may become overwhelmed with information as there is a lot available to me.

What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?

Upon further research I have found a library not too far from where I live which stores the archives for both the newspapers I am intending to research. However, being able to go into libraries is still uncertain due to the pandemic so I will need to keep an eye on changing government restrictions for when I can go into the library. After speaking to my supervisor I am going to develop a strategy of how I am going to look at newspapers so that I do not get overwhelmed (eg. pick one article for every month instead of looking at every week).

What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?

I think it is extremely important to do research over summer as it will take a bit of pressure off you come September. Also if I am unable to gain access to the newspapers I would like to look at, I will be able to alter my question over summer, whereas if I left research until September I will be very stressed trying to change my topic.

Which aspects of the 9X6 module have been the most useful in helping you get your project ready to start?

I think the module helped with breaking the dissertation down over the course of the semester. I feel prepared to carry my research on throughout summer as I know exactly what is expected of me. I also think the meetings with our supervisors early on was helpful as it allowed for students to get in contact from an early stage. The proposal essay has also put me in a good position for research as I have also found a lot of useful secondary material through JSTOR and university materials.

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