a) What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?
I think trying to decide exactly what to focus on and how to go about discussing my topic has been an obstacle for me. From conducting more research, my ideas and questions on the historical issue changed every time and sometimes made it hard to focus on one thing. I learned from the methodology paper that I was focussing on too many different issues at the one time and analysing issues together that should be looked at separately. As well as this, trying to wrap my head around methodology and how to use it in my dissertation was really complex and I struggled with this. However, I think from completing the dissertation proposal it is starting to make a lot more sense to me. Lastly, I think trying to find relevant primary sources online has been a lot harder than expected.
b) What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?
Planning everything out properly has helped me to overcome these. I think at the start I was stressing myself out by not effectively planning exactly what I wanted to say, what questions I had and what sources I plan to use. I done a lot more reading and research for the dissertation proposal and this made my understanding of the topic a lot clearer. Also, I have read a lot more into collective biographical analysis and decided that this is the easiest way to get access to memoirs and diaries for my specific topic.
c) What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?
It has taught me to plan effectively and read as much secondary material as possible. Taking time to read multiple sources and understand the wider debates and scholars perspectives has helped me bring together my dissertation aims and objectives. By doing this, it has also made me raise questions on the topic and what needs to be discussed more at length.
d) Which aspects of the 9X6 module have been the most useful in helping you get your project ready to start?
Selecting and meeting with a supervisor has been very effective. It is definitely important to have an early start on such an important and lengthy project as it will make the process easier and less stressful. I feel a lot more content that I have a good idea of exactly what angle I want my dissertation to take.