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
Key SkillsWhat skills are involved in the Dissertation writing process?
Dissertation Skill Set1.Finding, selecting and critically analysing information2.Decision-making, task management and problem-solving3.Summarising and presenting findings
Processes Involved?What processes are involved when undertaking a Dissertation?
Processes• Planning/organising• Literature review• Research• Writing• Referencing
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
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
....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
Catalogue Help Try using legal composition legal research as Subject keywords
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?
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?
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?
World Legal Information Institute Take 10 minutes and evaluate
Writing,Format and Structure Dissertation You can search for Middlesex law LLM dissertations on the catalogueClick on the title to view details
Dissertation Request You can look at a Dissertation for 3hours in the library
Ethos/British Library• When theses are digitised they are usually available as a free download• Register at ethos.bl.uk
ETHOS-British LibraryOn my law subject guide you will find links to Ethos/British Library
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)
LSE Research Online Research Other universities content have research produced by LSErepositories. Have a staff. Content look! often Full Text
More Useful BLOGS• Inner Temple Libraryhttp://www.innertemplelibrary.comUK Lawyers Blog of Blawgshttp://www.ukblawgroundup.co.ukMartin Partington-Key Developments in Justicehttp://martinpartington.com
PodcastsLaw Society Gazette Newsfeedshttp://www.lawgazette.co.uk/node/rssfeedLegal Currenthttp://legalcurrent.libsyn.com
Referencing and Software(OSCOLA and Refworks) Online Research and Management tool
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
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.
Other Useful Databases Foreign law print collections at IALS and elsewhere