Final Reflection – Katie Heffernan

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

The hardest part of this module for me was firstly deciding on a specific time period as I am interested in many historical events. When I eventually chose a topic I then found it difficult to decide on a question for my dissertation as my topic is quite broad therefore I felt it was a challenge to narrow it down. I have also struggled at times to find primary sources relating to my topic.

What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles? 

After the first meeting with my supervisor, I had explained that I wasn’t completely sure on a topic as I was going between a few but had picked one. I had then explained that I was struggling a bit thinking of a question, my supervisor gave me great advice and also gave me suggestions of others I could contact for support. For me, the contact between myself and my supervisor helped me overcome these obstacles as the advice given was worthwhile and sources were also recommended to me.

What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation? 

This has taught me to carefully plan out my dissertation as when I chose this topic I didn’t think of the complications I might have faced accessing sources. I underestimated what would have been available to me which has caused some difficulty. I have also learned that a wide range of help is available, not just from my supervisor but from others as well.

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

I found the mini lectures each week really helpful as they included lots of useful information, especially the Sources and Methods lecture in week 3 by Helen Beardsley as this helped to find sources. I also enjoyed the seminars and found it really useful to work in pairs reading over previous assignments as this gave me an idea of what was expected in my writing. 

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