(Original post by 3232)
So does that mean History first years can't really do any paid work in the long vacation?
According to various people, you shouldn't have to do more than 6 weeks paid work in the vacation- that's with 4 weeks of academic work, and a couple of weeks off relaxing. So far this vacation (between second and third years) I've done dissertation stuff and relaxed, but have LOADS more diss. AND I've run out of money. Oops.
Personally, I've managed to take quite a few books out of various Cambridge libraries that are quite useful for my t and s and many of the sources I need are online. I'm still coming back to Cambridge 2 weeks before beginning of term to read the rest in the UL (I'll hopefully know which rest by then ...).
My DoS expects to see a full draft of the essay at the beginning of term and told us to spend about 4 weeks on it during the long vac. Maybe that's a help.
re bibliography. Do people actually mention all the works they read there or just the ones they quoted or refered to in the essay? In case it's the latter (which I always believed...) I'm thinking it would be quite hard to fit in 300 references in a 5000 word essay ... but it's really impressive you've put in that much effort!
It was about 125 references. I noted down everything I'd used; about 60 or 70 of the things on the bibliog. were next to useless, about 100 or so had very little from them, and the rest were useful. I raided Jstor for articles, and just basically read a lot.
I had to stay behind after term and do it. Local library almost definitely won't cut it, though if you live near a decent uni you can probably get hold of a fair amount of secondary stuff. I don't sadly. It has been a bit of a hassle sorting it out. Vac res rents and travel costs add up as well, but it pretty interesting research so I don't mind too much.
Actually, local library can cut it- every library in the country has access to the national network of libraries, with the British Library at the top, so you can theoretically get any book you want ordered to your local library for a few pounds. But the UL is just a LOT easier.
Ah. I'm lucky enough to have a uni quite near me though I'm not sure if it's open access. So how exactly does Cam expect you to do it? Do they actually expect most students to stay during the holidays?
I commuted to Reading University library for about a month at the start of the summer vac- which was great, because I'd been there a couple of times for my A2 Personal Study. I fulfilled an ambition of mine and signed myself in as a visitor with "Clare College, Cambridge" in the "Institution" column- which was fantastic because back in year 13 I never thought I'd be able to do it.
Most people manage at home. I was particularly geeky and stayed in Cambridge; it's home to me now, and I've got so much to do.
300 item bibliography? Are you serious? I'`ve heard something around 30 -40 is expected...
Yes- though what's expected and what I serve up to the examiners once I've latched onto a topic are different things. I did get a I* for the essay (my first and only one ever!) so I like to think it all paid off...
I think the problem is the question I chose because there isn't a lot written on it- only two books on the direct topic and only a handful of journal articles- and although there is a fair amount of primary stuff large parts of the collection i am using were destroyed in WW2. I don't think i am going to be able to use these sources (which tend to be interesting but irrelevant) to say anything very original which is my main concern really. Maybe I should switch topics? It would be quite annoying to abandon it though because I have put quite a bit of work into it.
This isn't necesserily a bad thing. The less primary stuff there is, the more you can master- and the bigger the lack of secondary, the more chance there is of your coming up with original thinking and writing, which is a Good Thing.