Writing your Dissertation? – Part Two

4. Look at other dissertations

The library keeps hard copies of outstanding dissertations, provided by academic departments, and mostly at postgraduate level dissertations. Departments themselves might have copies of undergraduate level dissertations. You can search on the library catalogue to see what’s available. For a Masters level thesis, click on other categories on the library catalogue; change the stock category from full catalogue to MA course work and then search. For a PhD level thesis, click on the link on the catalogue and then search. Masters level theses are available on the ground floor on shelves close to Special Collections. They are shelved alphabetically. For a PhD level thesis, click on the link on the catalogue and then search. These are kept in the stack – please ask in Special Collections.

5. Use Senate House and other libraries

Goldsmiths students aren’t just restricted to using this library. Your research might locate items that we don’t have at Goldsmiths. First, register with Senate House Library. It’s the main library of the University of London and Goldsmiths students can borrow their books and use their electronic resources once they’ve registered. You can also ask at the enquiry desk for a SCONUL card. This provides either reference (undergraduate) or borrowing (postgraduate) access to many other UK libraries. Use COPAC to find which libraries hold books we don’t.


6. Use EndNote Web or Zotero for referencing

Referencing your work can be time-consuming, but to make it easier, use software to keep track of all the items you’ve referenced for your research. There are two main pieces of referencing software you can use: EndNote Web and Zotero. EndNote Web is supported by the College – you can use it on most computers in the library and library staff offer training. Follow the instructions on the IT website to start using it. Zotero is the latest piece of referencing software. It’s not supported by the College and we don’t offer formalised training (but speak to your subject librarian if you need help), but it is increasingly being used by academic researchers and it can be more straightforward to use than EndNote Web. See which software you like – using either will save you time in the long run.

7. Contact CELAW for academic writing help

The library can’t provide help with academic writing, but we can refer you instead to the Centre for English Language and Academic Writing (CELAW). CELAW offers all students advice on improving essay writing and other academic language skills through drop in sessions on Thursdays 4-5pm (RHB307) and Fridays 2-3pm (RHB353). CELAW also offers in-sessional English classes to improve the academic writing of non-native English speakers, and also offers online writing guides on its VLE pages.

Writing Your Dissertation – Part 1


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