Formulating your research strategy
A good place to start is the library Services for Researchers. These pages contain a wide range of useful research content in one place, to help you with your postgraduate study, from planning your research right through to publishing and sharing.
University policy documents
Writing Your Thesis
Another useful guide to become familiar with is the Library's Guide to Writing and Submitting a Thesis. This guide covers:
- Preparing and Researching your Thesis
- Copyright Compliance
- Presentation Requirements for your Thesis
- Thesis Submission
We urge you to familiarise yourself with this information about the submission process. While your initial focus will be on your substantive research and on identifying useful information to progress this, it is important to keep in mind that the end goal is a research thesis that (1) makes a substantive and original contribution to your field of scholarship and (2) complies with the University regulations!
Other Library Guides may also be of assistance, so we encourage you to consult these if you are uncertain about aspects of your research. Of particular interest is the Guide to Writing a Literature Review
Databases are constantly being updated with new scholarship. Over the years of your research, the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether you've exhaustively researched the databases ad whether anything new has been added that you do not know about!
One of the most efficient ways for you to be appraised of relevant new material is to set up an RSS Feed. This page shows how to use the alert function in law databases so that the latest information comes to you without you having to go and find it.
We've also put together a video with our best tips for post-graduate study, which we recommend you have a look at - 10 Top Tips for Graduate Research.
Theses are deposited at the University of Waikato's Research Commons.
You can search the research commons to find a thesis, which will allow you to see prior scholarship in your field of study a well as get a feel for what a published thesis looks like and how past scholars have addressed questions such as methodology. Scanning the tables of contents of other theses can help you shape your thoughts about structure, formatting, style and scope, as well as shaping your substantive research
Managing and organizing all your references can be an onerous task. However if you use bibliographic management software you can easily search through your collection and locate individual references that match what you need. The software may also format your footnotes for you though the degree of success will vary depending on which option you use. Some sort of reference management tool is a real must for those undertaking serious research such as a thesis or dissertation. The two options are Endnote and Juris-M however, we do not recommend using Endnote, as it does not work well with the New Zealand Law Style Guide. Juris-M has traditionally worked better for the Law Style guide as it's a piece of software based on Zotero which is designed specifically to handle legal and multi-lingual references.
If you need help with using the database, or with any of your research, you can contact us at the Law Library.