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.

Nicola Hamilton – Annotated Bibliography

For my dissertation I intend to look at how attitudes towards women in Britain changed through looking at World War One propaganda. 

Primary Sources

Unknown Author. (1914). Women of Britain Say ‘Go!’. Available at:

I found this primary source on the British Library Website. The source is a piece of propaganda in a poster format which was designed in World War One to encourage women to make their men to enlist in the war. It was also created to make men feel ashamed for not enlisting. The poster effectively captures the divisions between men and women at the time as it was a noble motivation for men to enlist as they were protecting women and children. 

Unknown Author. (1915). Go! It’s Your Duty Lad. Available at:

I came across this primary source while looking through the Imperial War Museum’s collection on propaganda. While the previous source was reminding all women to encourage their men to enlist, this particular poster appealed directly to mothers. The poster depicts a mother with her arm around her son claiming that it’s ‘his duty’ to enlist. It is stating that mothers should put aside their selfish reasons for not wanting their sons to enlist and ensure that they do. 

 Unknown Author. (Date Unknown). Women Wanted Urgently. Available at:

Like the last primary source, this one is also from the Imperial War Museum’s collection. While the date is unknown, I assume from reading secondary sources that it is from 1915 onwards as that is around the period when women’s role at the home front became urgent. The poster highlights the shift in attitudes towards women as women were beginning to adopt ‘male’ employment roles. By having the word ‘urgent’ in bold and in red, it conveyed the need for female workers as men were being conscripted. 

Scott, S. (1916). These Women Are Doing Their Bit. Available at:

Again, this primary source was found whilst looking through the Imperial War Museum’s collection. Like the last source, the poster is encouraging women to work in employment areas usually dominated by men – in this poster in particular it is appealing to women to work in munitions. The women in the poster looks eager to take advantage off the new employment made available to her as a result of the war. 

Secondary Sources

Monger, D. (2014). ‘Nothing Special? Propaganda and Women’s Roles in Late First World War Britain’ in Women’s History Review. Routledge 

I came across this source whilst looking through the Stirling University library catalogue. The article looks at the National War Aims Committee (NWAC) which ran a propaganda newspaper called Welcome. The NWAC romanticised women through propaganda by portraying them as cartoons undertaking domestic roles to ensure to the men at war that everything was okay at home. While the NWAC romanticised women, they also praised women’s contribution to the war through their roles as nurses, auxiliaries, munition workers etc. 

Braybon, G. (2013). Women Workers in the First World War. Abingdon: Routledge 

Chapters one and two of this book are useful in understanding the role in which women played during World War One. They explore why and how women undertook male dominated roles and how helpful their contributions were. The book also gives useful statistics such as 1 in 3 working women were ‘replacing’ a male worker in industrial roles in 1917 (p. 46). 

Nicola Hamilton – Introduction

Hello! My name is Nicola and I am from a small village just outside of Livingston. For my dissertation I am interested in race and gender history, however like others I am unsure of a specific area to focus on. I found online learning difficult at the beginning as I was easily distracted but as the semester went on I got the hang of it. I do miss the social aspects of university such as going to lectures and interacting face to face, so I am hoping things return to normal soon.