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Dissertations Workshop 1

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Scott McCracken

on 10 October 2014

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Transcript of Dissertations Workshop 1

Choosing a Topic
Dissertation Workshop 1
A piece of independent research
An extended piece of writing
An exploration of a specific area of interest
Well-informed and critically current
Well-written and professionally presented
What is a Dissertation?
What are my interests?
What resources are available?
What kind of topic is manageable?
What do I already know?
Initial Factors to Consider
Start with texts and/or films (if interested in adaptation)
Start with an issue
Start with a theoretical approach
Starting Points
Resources for finding primary material (LION; EEBO/ECCO; IMDB; Google Books/Scholar; bibliographies; library catalogues; newspapers)
Is enough primary material available?
Are any essential texts or films difficult to get hold of?
Are there any issues about access?
Primary Material
Check the relevant bibliographies (e.g. the MLA and ABELL bibliographies in LION)
Have many critics written in this area?
What do you think of their work?
What kinds of approaches do they take?
What are the main debates and disputes?
Are there any gaps? Are some topics or texts/films neglected?
Are you likely to have any problems accessing secondary material?
Critical Contexts
What kinds of topics have been selected?
How manageable do they seem?
How many primary texts are included?
How many secondary sources are cited?
Are there any problems with the writers’ choice of topics?
Past Dissertations
Full transcript