Final Reflection – Declan Renton

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

At the beginning of this semester, I had previously made little thought about my dissertation and had difficulty trying to pick a period of history that I would have liked to cover. Once I had found a topic that interested me, I was able to choose two interwar Paramilitary organisations and investigate how and why the romanticised violence. When I began to investigate this topic, I had found it difficult to find primary source that would work for question I hope to answer.

What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?

I decided to make mind maps of the topics that I was interested in and was able to narrow it down to a couple of potential periods that I was able to take and talk to tutors about and eventually settle on an idea. With help from my Tutor, I was able to find potential primary and multiple Secondary sources that over good comparisons, allowing me to hopefully gain extensive knowledge of the topic. One problem remains as I’m still trying to find reliable translations of paramilitary songs used in interwar Romania and Germany.

What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?

This module has taught me how much reading and preparation that I must do over the summer so that I can competently be able to discuss and have a deep understanding of the topic so I can have meaningful discussion come September. It has also taught me the importance of setting deadlines for required research so I’m able to complete what I plan to do for the coming semester.

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

I believe because we have been able to pick a topic early has allowed me to prepare for the summer and will hopefully make the process of the dissertation to be easier than I had previously expected. I feel the module has broken down the different aspect of the dissertation well and has showed me exactly what is expected of us. This has allowed me to feel more confident with my topic and I hope to carry my research into the summer. The module has also opened my eyes to the vast ways off being able to access resources as JSTOR, Google Scholar, university libraries and other sites that have proved to be lucrative as they offer a wide range of readings.

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