Final Reflection- Thomas Ord

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

I found it hard to specify my dissertation topic and analyse an original argument. Although I wanted to study representations of Otto Von Bismarck between 1870 and 1914, it would have been too difficult to gather primary sources due to many of them being in German. Thus, I managed to narrow down my topic to examine British historians biographies on the German Chancellor between 1890 and 1936. This gave me an original argument and plenty of historians I could pursue online such as Charles Grant Robertson.

What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?

My tutor gave me excellent advice in order to pursue the topic but from a different angle. Instead of focussing on German sources, I could analyse British historians in a certain period and how they could be influenced by certain dates. Furthermore, there are many books which incorporate German views within the period I am studying. Therefore, I can compare and contrast them with my own findings.

What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?

This has taught me that it will be hard to analyse British historians biographies on Bismarck from the period. I will need to plan in proceeding with this topic in order to study the many different views of Bismarck from within the period without getting confused due to vast amounts of reading. It would be helpful to set myself deadlines in order to not fall behind and keep focused on the work at hand. Thus, organisation and planning are key to completing my dissertation.

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

Throughout the semester, the 9X6 module has been useful in understanding the dissertation and how to go about it. It has allowed me to understand the topic I will be undertaking for my dissertation and to analyse a wide range of books and primary sources which I will be able to develop on. The seminars have given me a good understanding of what a dissertation actually is and how to prepare for it. Ultimately, the module as a whole has been very supportive.

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