The start of a beautiful friendship?


Have you ever heard the old adage about the people you meet in life? They say there are three types:  Acquaintances; friends that come and go and; the longstanding variety you can count on. In many ways, I think an Honours project is a bit like the people you meet. Some of the variables or ideas remain acquaintances, never taking on a life of their own. Others blossom initially but eventually wane, serving as important stepping stones to the ideas that stand the test of time. I can see this clearly in the evolution of my study. New aspects have been introduced whilst older features have disappeared, either re-emerging or being replaced. Just like relationships, an Honours project is never static.

Inevitably, my ‘relationship’ with my project is complex. A thesis needs to be explained, defended and supported, a bit like a friend who cannot speak for themselves. At times I feel overwhelmed by it all, especially given the importance of high marks for getting into a postgraduate course. Nevertheless, support from those willing to give feedback and listen makes it seem possible.

Despite all this, if my thesis could chat to me right now, it would probably vent its frustration. I’ve identified a problem; I keep getting caught up in the details and so my arguments are not clearly structured nor do they move from the general to the specific. I’m working on it,  but I haven’t had much success. What’s worse is that I keep making the same mistakes. I’m placating myself with the knowledge that I will overcome this. Even so, I need to change my approach, but how? Does anyone out there have any tips?

At least writing this post has made me feel better. Challenges are inevitable but they’ll make it all the more worthwhile in the end. I’ll let you know how I get on.

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Filed under honours project, Honours year, writing

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