Other people’s theses

I realise I haven’t said anything about my thesis for a while – this is mainly because what with being away for Easter, marking essays and trying to have some semblance of a normal (haha) life I don’t seem to have done anything much with it for ages. If anyone wants to remind me what it’s about that would be useful.

I’ve started reading a friend’s thesis (she passed a few months ago with just minor corrections, and her topic is sort-of related to (parts of) mine, as well as using similar methods to me). I think now is a very good time to be reading other theses – too early in the process it would just be scary (“I’ll never be able to do that” sort of thing), plus early on when you’re not that confident it might make you think “so *that’s* what I’m meant to do”, and do what the thesis-writer did regardless of whether it’s relevant to your research or not. At least, I’m pretty sure those are the two reactions I would have had, if I’d read this thesis in my first year or two.

It might be worth reading a not-so-good thesis earlier on. Or maybe one that’s not so related to yours. I remember the first one I read was while I was in Romania on fieldwork, and being able to see the flaws in it actually did give me some confidence that I was capable of producing something better. The only problem is that I guess you have no way of knowing until you start it whether or not it’s going to scare or inspire you.

Reading this particular thesis at the moment is being very good for me. I haven’t started the complex background/theory/literature mish-mash yet, but for some time have been not entirely convinced by my proposed plan. My friend has done hers in such a way that makes a lot of sense, and I could see that working for mine too. So that’s good.

I have another chapter to be in in just under 3 weeks. So I might be internet-lite for a while (if I’m not procrastinating that is, not that I ever do that). During that 3 weeks I’m also attending some nursing lectures for my PREP requirements to reregister. I’ll probably be social-life-lite too, unfortunately. Once the chapter is in I have a conference paper to revise (it’s too long so I need to shorten it, but I also want to submit it for a journal special edition so I need to lengthen it too, just to complicate matters!). It’s all go.

In other news, Happy Orthodox Easter! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Other people’s theses

  1. I remember one thesis that used to float around our office (I never met its author – she’d gone before I started) which was used by most of us as an encouragement – if that got someone a PhD then surely we’re all capable of it…

  2. And Happy Orthodox Easter to you too!
    [says the person who indulged far too much yesterday and whose stomach is now rebelling.]

    If your wondrous words here are anything to go by, your thesis will be the most wondrous thing ever written! All the best with all the busy-ness: I’m struggling enough to get motivated to do a simple assignment: well done to all you boffins who can write theses.

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