Final Reflection – Shane Kelly

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

The biggest major obstacle would be the methodology aspect. In the beginning I struggled to grasp the different concepts of the research methods themselves, such as ‘lingustic analysis’. I would also add is the obvious COVID-19 restrictions, whilst planning my research I had to ensure that my research could be conducted entirely online. Thirdly would be the amount of reading expected could be heavy at times, when all modules are considered together.

b) What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?

Firstly, the reading provided on Gunn & Faire offered a lot of clarity on these different researching methods and theories, this helped me overcome this obstacle. Secondly, the COVID-19 restrictions can be of little hinderance due to the availability of primary source material that has been digitised and uploaded online. However, it would still be beneficial if the restrictions were (hopefully) lowered by next semester, therefore the use of archives can help with research and documents that are not accessible online. Thirdly, I have had to become much better organised, at times I would skim my reading in order to dedicate my time towards other modules that have more trickier reading.

c) What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?

Firstly, approaching my dissertation I will make use of the readings provided through this module such as Gunn & Faire, and also those other historians such as Walker. Secondly, pproaching my dissertation I am aware that a significant part of my dissertation will require online research, therefore the COVID-19 restrictions should bare little hinderance, however make use of archives if they are available. Thirdly, approaching my dissertation I am aware that there will be heavy amounts of reading involved, therefore this year could be good practice in preparation for next year.

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

The first assignment was useful as Dr. Cawood provided useful feedback and explained that my research topic was not exactly clear and had to be narrowed down and stick to what I have choosen. After receiving this feedback it was clear to me on what I had to focus on. The classes were also useful, immediately before this module I had no idea what my research project would be, however after being told to do general reading on history and to approach a topic that is quite original, I had no issues. On top of that my supervisor was a great help in guiding me to narrowing down my topic area.

Annotated Bibliography – Shane Kelly

Secondary Sources

  • Gaddis, John Lewis. We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997

For my dissertation topic I wish to study the origins of the Cold War. John Lewis Gaddis is a giant in Cold War history, particularly in its origins. This book was useful as it discusses the early origins of the Cold War (1917-1945), and with that Gaddis looks at what various historians have said about this period.

  • Mayer, Arno. Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking: Containment and Counterrevolution at Versailles, 1918–1919. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1967.

Arno Mayer’s classic which looks heavily at the Versaille’s Treaty. How did communism effect the writing of the treaty? This is what Arno analyses. This is useful because it helps to establish the origins of the Cold War.

  • Ruotsila, Markku. British and American Anticommunism Before the Cold War. London: Routledge, 2001.

Again another vital book which looks at the origins of the Cold War from pre-1945.

Primary Sources

Firstly The Times will be used for evidence of the British medias reaction to events and in turn this could be used as a reflection of publics reaction. To use The Times I used the primary source guide described in the lecture. An example of a document from The Times that I could use would be this article from 1917, which describes the ‘world revolution’ which Lenin describes after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. All the way to 1967 during the Cold War this remains relevant as Crozier discusses in the newspaper article. Crozier, Brian. “Belief Still in World Revolution.” Times, 1967.

Secondly the ideal type of primary source to use when researching this topic would be official government documents or what members of parliament were debating at this time. Upon using the ‘U.K. Parliamentary Papers’ resource I typed in ‘Communism’ and limited it by the date. In turn this gave me all the history of debates in parliament which communism has been mentioned. This is a good way of looking through the ‘high politics’ perspective of obtaining evidence.

Therefore it is clear that there will be the use of high politics and also media in order to obtain primary evidence for my topic.


Introduction Post – Shane

Hello everyone, my name is Shane and I come from Greenock (near Glasgow). I am currently not certain on which topic I will undertake for my dissertation. However, I do have a few rough ideas for topic areas that I find interesting such as, feminism in the early 20th century (1900-1918), The First World War (1914-1918) and the Interwar Period (1918-1939). I have not entirely enjoyed online learning, I miss the face-to-face interactions on campus and it was difficult at first to maintain focus during seminars and lectures whilst having the distractions of my home life, however near the end of last semester I came to grips with our new way of living. Hopefully soon things will return to how they were before. Take care everyone.