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  1. 1. Dissertation Research LEX 4165 Catherine Funnell March 2013
  2. 2. Why do a Dissertation?Take 5-10 minutes and write down why you are doing a dissertation. What is the purpose of undertaking it? What are your objectives?
  3. 3. Job/Personal Satisfaction ?
  4. 4. Personal Goals1.Be able to undertake a substantial piece of academic study2.Be able to develop a personal specialism3. Put a personal stamp on a piece of work4. Be able to explore the literature on a specific topic
  5. 5. Key SkillsWhat skills are involved in the Dissertation writing process?
  6. 6. Dissertation Skill Set1.Finding, selecting and critically analysing information2.Decision-making, task management and problem-solving3.Summarising and presenting findings
  7. 7. Processes Involved?What processes are involved when undertaking a Dissertation?
  8. 8. Processes• Planning/organising• Literature review• Research• Writing• Referencing
  9. 9. Literature Review• Systematic study of a topic• Defines, describes and explains what the topic is• Access and critically assess the various debates and issues the topic has generated
  10. 10. Literature Review-Tips• Your bibliography should represent the depth of your reading on a particular subject• Ensure that you keep a record of everything you have read. All the reading should be noted in the bibliography• Continually evaluate the quality of what you are reading
  11. 11. ....and more tips!• Decide on the topic• Begin with a broad review of the subject(gets you thinking about it...)• Then define/narrow the subject• Define the type of literature that will contribute to the literature review
  12. 12. Some Useful Library Titles
  13. 13. Catalogue Help Try using legal composition legal research as Subject keywords
  14. 14. Start the Thinking Process!Think about the following:What do I need to find?How and where am I going to find it?How do I determine the quality of what I am finding?
  15. 15. Evaluating Information(articles, websites,case studies etc)Authority-Who is the author? What is their knowledge base/qualificationsRelevance-Is it ‘pitched’ at the appropriate level?Objectivity-Balanced view/ Opposing views presented?
  16. 16. Evaluating InformationIntent-What is the purpose of the information-academic, propoganda?Currency-How old is the information?when was it last updated?Feel-Is the site well structured and easy to navigate? Links up to date and working?
  17. 17. World Legal Information Institute Take 10 minutes and evaluate
  18. 18. Writing,Format and Structure Dissertation You can search for Middlesex law LLM dissertations on the catalogueClick on the title to view details
  19. 19. Dissertation Request You can look at a Dissertation for 3hours in the library
  20. 20. Ethos/British Library• When theses are digitised they are usually available as a free download• Register at ethos.bl.uk
  21. 21. ETHOS-British LibraryOn my law subject guide you will find links to Ethos/British Library
  22. 22. Middlesex Research Repository http:eprints.mdx.ac.uk Middlesex PhD theses currently being digitised Some are available on the MDX Repository(link on my law subject guide)
  23. 23. LSE Research Online Research Other universities content have research produced by LSErepositories. Have a staff. Content look! often Full Text
  24. 24. Other ThesesAccess via my Law Subject Guide
  25. 25. Library CataloguesBeyond Middlesex Allows you to search catalogues of the major academic libraries in the Southeast and London
  26. 26. COPAC(link on my law subject guide) Merged online catalogue with details of material held at the UK’s major research libraries
  27. 27. Current Awareness BLOGS Alerting Services RSS FeedsPODCASTS
  28. 28. International Criminal Court Press Releases Link Useful when following particular CASE
  29. 29. BLOGS Links to all on my Law Subject Guide
  30. 30. Using Other Libraries
  31. 31. More Useful BLOGS• Inner Temple Libraryhttp://www.innertemplelibrary.comUK Lawyers Blog of Blawgshttp://www.ukblawgroundup.co.ukMartin Partington-Key Developments in Justicehttp://martinpartington.com
  32. 32. PodcastsLaw Society Gazette Newsfeedshttp://www.lawgazette.co.uk/node/rssfeedLegal Currenthttp://legalcurrent.libsyn.com
  33. 33. Alerting Services
  34. 34. Referencing and Software(OSCOLA and Refworks) Online Research and Management tool
  35. 35. Refworks(Bibliographic Management Software)• Refworks is an online Research and Management tool designed to help researchers:• Gather• Manage• StoreAll types of information and generate citations and format bibliographies
  36. 36. Bibliographic Management Software
  37. 37. Create a Folder1st-Register in RefworksThen-create a folder
  38. 38. Give the Folder a Name Folder appears on Quick Access
  39. 39. Export to Refworks
  40. 40. Click on Export
  41. 41. Journal Citation Has Been Exported to Refworks
  42. 42. Create a Bibliography
  43. 43. Create a Bibliography 1 2 3 4
  44. 44. Formatted Saved Bibliography• Barnard, Catherine, The EU constitution-dealing with the deficit - 156 NLJ 173 (2006) The New Law Journal.• Duina, Francesco, Book Review: National Parliaments and European Democracy: A Bottom-up Approach to European Constitutionalism - Eur J Int Law (2008) 19 (2): 454 (2008) European Journal of International Law.• Koskenniemi, Martti, By Their Acts You Shall Know Them ... (And Not by Their Legal Theories) - Eur J Int Law (2004) 15 (4): 839 (2004) European Journal of International Law.• Kumm, Mattias, The Legitimacy of International Law: A Constitutionalist Framework of Analysis - Eur J Int Law (2004) 15 (5): 907 (2004) European Journal of International Law.• Snell, Jukka, European Constitutional Settlement, an Ever-Closing Union, and the Treaty of Lisbon: Democracy or Relevance (2008) Eur Law Rev.• Thürer1, Daniel, Max Huber: A Portrait in Outline - Eur J Int Law (2007) 18 (1): 69 (2007) European Journal of International Law.
  45. 45. Other Useful Databases Foreign law print collections at IALS and elsewhere
  46. 46. Finding Primary Resources
  47. 47. United Nations Treaty Collectionhttp://www.treaties.un.org
  48. 48. Finally..............................Problems?Appointment