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HIST 203: Canada Since 1867

Research guide for HIST 203 (Winter 2024)

Finding Secondary Sources: Theses and Dissertations

The written presentation of research which results in the granting of a graduate degree, a PhD or MA, is called a thesis (or dissertation — at McGill the terms are used interchangeably). The research for a PhD is required to be an original contribution to knowledge and is guaranteed to be thoroughly researched and refereed. Theses (plural) usually have extensive bibliographies of primary and secondary sources consulted. Hence they are an excellent place to look for sources, especially on cutting-edge topics. They usually, however, concentrate on very narrow topics.

A great many theses have been written on Canadian history at McGill and most are available in electronic format in eScholarship@McGill. You can find all History PhD and select MA theses on the History Department Website. Additionally, some older McGill theses are available in print format in Rare Books and Special Collections and can be searched here; search your topic and limit by Format: "Thesis, Dissertation". Finding a recent McGill thesis on your topic is particularly useful, since most of the material used to write it is probably at McGill. Find a copy and look at the bibliography.

McGill University subscribes to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, which allows online access to many theses produced in universities across Canada and the United States. You can also search Theses Canada to find French and English theses written by students at Canadian universities.

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