How to be original in dissertation?

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username2244141
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#1
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I'm starting my dissertation this year, and I think I'm doing quite well with it all. The issue I'm having is with the whole 'be original' thing. What does it actually mean? Because I'm basically using mostly the same methodology as others have before me, and I'm arguing something that a couple of people have already more or less argued. Is that no good?
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DrawTheLine
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(Original post by MartinisSkip)
I'm starting my dissertation this year, and I think I'm doing quite well with it all. The issue I'm having is with the whole 'be original' thing. What does it actually mean? Because I'm basically using mostly the same methodology as others have before me, and I'm arguing something that a couple of people have already more or less argued. Is that no good?
It's fine to use the same method, because there's a finite number of methods to choose from. You aren't expected to come up with your own methodology.

If you're arguing something that has pretty much been decided already, that's not so good. Think outside of the box. It's fine to do your dissertation on something that has already been covered a little bit, but ideally you'd want to be trying to build on the research that has already been completed. Use previous research as inspiration. When reading the articles, in the discussion section there will be statements of things the researchers say they could have done differently, or suggesting areas for future research. These parts should put the light bulb over your head and make you think "hey, that's interesting what if I explored that".
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username2244141
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(Original post by DrawTheLine)
It's fine to use the same method, because there's a finite number of methods to choose from. You aren't expected to come up with your own methodology.

If you're arguing something that has pretty much been decided already, that's not so good. Think outside of the box. It's fine to do your dissertation on something that has already been covered a little bit, but ideally you'd want to be trying to build on the research that has already been completed. Use previous research as inspiration. When reading the articles, in the discussion section there will be statements of things the researchers say they could have done differently, or suggesting areas for future research. These parts should put the light bulb over your head and make you think "hey, that's interesting what if I explored that".
Well the topic I've chosen is PTSD in the Roman Republic, and only one person has written an article on it and someone else has written about mental health in Rome. Mostly people have written about PTSD in ancient Greece, so I thought there was a gap with Rome.

I think I'm sort of adding more to the argument, because I'm going more in depth than some others have, but yeah now I am quite worried 😅
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Lettucetea
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Trying to be too original in the dis can cause a lot of stress on you, your wrote ptsd in Rome rather than Greece which sounds like s pretty cool subject! Just as longs you work on a subject you like and have a little of passion for, the reader shall enjoy your research into it. It’s fine if others have written about it, as longs as you don’t wrote I’m the same way you shall be all good .
Just mainly focus on the structure as that’s what their mainly looking at. Like the argument or point your pulling across, having your dis structured around that. Maybe pull a few more points that base around others peoples iterations.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by MartinisSkip)
Well the topic I've chosen is PTSD in the Roman Republic, and only one person has written an article on it and someone else has written about mental health in Rome. Mostly people have written about PTSD in ancient Greece, so I thought there was a gap with Rome.

I think I'm sort of adding more to the argument, because I'm going more in depth than some others have, but yeah now I am quite worried 😅
As long as you're using different methodology to that one article you'll be fine. Additional depth with the same methodology can also be original but not always, if you're using more sources that are less important then that won't necessarily be enough to make it original.
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DrawTheLine
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(Original post by MartinisSkip)
Well the topic I've chosen is PTSD in the Roman Republic, and only one person has written an article on it and someone else has written about mental health in Rome. Mostly people have written about PTSD in ancient Greece, so I thought there was a gap with Rome.

I think I'm sort of adding more to the argument, because I'm going more in depth than some others have, but yeah now I am quite worried 😅
That sounds fine! You've taken a piece of research and have gone off onto another branch of that area to do your research on, which is what you should do. If you're worried, meet with your supervisor as they'll know the ins and outs of what's allowed and what isn't.
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username2244141
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(Original post by DrawTheLine)
That sounds fine! You've taken a piece of research and have gone off onto another branch of that area to do your research on, which is what you should do. If you're worried, meet with your supervisor as they'll know the ins and outs of what's allowed and what isn't.
Thanks I think it's generally just late night fears! As well, I've seen my supervisor but unfortunately they don't know a lot on this topic in particular, I think it's because for Rome it really hasn't been covered that much. I've just checked my notes and I'm pretty positive some arguments I've had haven't been mentioned in the readings I've done, and the only article on Roman PTSD used only one source, so I should be fine.
Thanks again!
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