M9930 – Assignment Instructions
a) Choose a research topic – either an assignment you are currently working on or a possible topic for your dissertation.
b) For that research topic determine:
• Constituent elements (e.g. concepts/topics)
• The purpose of the question (what you are being asked to do).
• Different sources you might need to consult.
c) Then select relevant search terms/key words, remember to include:
• broader terms
• narrower terms
• related terms,
• synonyms (alternative terms)
• antonyms (opposite terms)
d) Use online and print sources to locate and access information relevant to the research topic. Find at least ten relevant sources from a range including:
• Primary sources – case law, national legislation, international instruments (e.g. treaties);
• Official publications / policy documents from think tanks / pressure groups / NGOs;
• Secondary sources – journal articles, books, encyclopaedias, etc.;
• Other online sources – websites, blogs, wikis.
You should retrieve a variety of different types of source.
Record details of the sources retrieved including: Author; Title/Source; publication details; type of source; where found; search terms/ strategy used to find source.
e) Create a separate bibliography for these retrieved resources. This should comply with departmental guidance on the form of references and bibliographies.
f) Write a reflective report on your research process. This should include a brief description of the research strategies you employed and also an explanation of how you evaluated the usefulness or otherwise of the sources you found. This should be no more than 750 words long.
Template for exercise
a) Research topic:
b) Constituent elements of the topic:
Purpose of the question:
Possible sources for consultation:
c) Search terms / key words (illustrative examples below):
Main term Broader terms Narrower terms Related terms Synonyms Antonyms
marriage family husband civil partnership matrimony divorce
transgender gender sex change transsexual male, female
d) Details of sources found:
(author, title, publication details) Type of source
(book, journal, case, statute, etc.) Where found (library, Westlaw, WTO website…) Search terms and strategy
Lesley-Anne Barnes, ‘ Gender identity and Scottish law: the legal response to transsexuality’, Edin. L.R. 2007, 11(2), 162-186 Journal Westlaw (Journals Search) Westlaw Journals search. Entered: ‘(transgender OR transsexual) and marriage and “human rights”’ into free text box
Gender Recognition Act 2004, c. 7 UK Statute Current Law Statutes (in University of Strathclyde Library ) Checked index to Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia under ‘Gender, change of-, human rights and -, Marriage’, followed up references in main work, found reference to Act in footnote, followed up reference in Current Law Statutes
f) Reflective report: