What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?
One of the major obstacles that I have faced during this module is access to primary and secondary sources. My topic is based in the Late Middle Ages, so access to primary sources has been rather difficult. The university library has been helpful, however the majority of sources I required were not available online and could only be physically accessed. As someone who is not staying in Stirling due to covid, this was particularly frustrating. Apart form this set back, there have been no other major obstacles to overcome.
What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?
Limited access to online resources has forced me to become more resourceful in my research. Using JSTOR, BRILL and other online libraries, that I barely used in the past, certainly broadened my research abilities. I also discovered a number of useful websites such as the US Congress library and MEMSO, that housed some of the primary sources I was looking for.
What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?
Overall, I would say that this module has helped my develop my researching capabilities and has taught me a number of ways to circumvent limitations regarding availability. The dissertation requires the need to have a wide range of sources to examine, so they can be narrowed down to the most appropriate. Therefore, overcoming this module has given me the means of acquiring a greater level of secondary and primary sources, so that my topic can be thoroughly researched.
Which aspects of the 9X6 module have been the most useful in helping you get your project ready to start?
I feel the 9X6 module really helped me get going in the right direction, regarding planning out my topic. I feel that the module clearly set out a careful plan that was effective in helping me decide and expand on my chosen topic. However, I feel that the module catered more to topics that where more recent. The sample essays provided where all based on topic covering the last century, where primary sources are easier to obtain. I wish that there would have been more variety in the sample essays, maybe some medieval examples.