beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
[personal profile] beboots
 Good news, everyone! I'm actually FINALLY starting to feel somewhat comfortable with my thesis! I've been working on it for... way too long. Technically I began in October or November of 2009, when I took a 300-level history of American medicine class with my current Honour's supervisor, Professor Susan Smith. I wrote a short, 12 page paper on Civil War medicine and how it wasn't as bad as people say, really. 

Now, nearly a year and a half later, here I sit, with piles of books on the Civil War and 19th century medical practice surrounding me, threatening to topple at any moment and trap me here in my study space, and... the end is actually in sight. 

I'm planning on handing it in on March 31st, so I can get a chance at winning an award. (Money! Glory! Stuff that looks good on my resumé!), and I really am gearing on handing it in on that date and not two weeks later because there is only one other student planning on applying for it. That means on a most basic level I have a 50-50 chance of winning it. Odds don't get much better than that. 
Anyway, I've been working on this particular document - the thesis itself - really since this past December. I agonized over word choices, organization, numbers of sources, etc. I also beat myself up inside for not starting to write it earlier, like, last semester when I was only taking four classes instead of five like I am now. I felt WAY better this past Wednesday when all of us History honour's students met up to compare notes on what we'd done so far. Two of the other five hadn't even begun writing the thing yet, still finishing up their research. Even the mediating professor seemed taken aback by this statement. Granted, they're not planning on handing theirs in until April 15th, but when asked by the professor how long they thought it would take to write 50 pages, one guy answered: "two weeks."
Now I feel much better about the series of drafts I've handed in to my research supervisor. I just finished making the edits based on the second draft she looked over, and I'm still planning on handing in a third draft next week. 
Today, I read through the whole thing to make those changes. It's starting to come together. For pretty much the first time, it actually looks GOOD. 
And about an hour and a half ago, I reached 50 pages. 
AKA the required page count. \o/
Now if only meeting this goal meant that it was over and done with... ;) I've still got a bunch of edits to make, and there are some examples that I still need to track down, but... the bulk of the work is done. I'm going to FINISH it. 
I feel GOOD.
(Now I just have to stress out about the other four papers I have to write this semester, most of which I've done little more than do some reading, plus some outlining. That'll be my task for Sunday. But for now, I celebrate!)

Date: 2011-03-12 11:06 pm (UTC)
kuiskata: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kuiskata
Yay! *cheers*

Good luck with the award, too!

but when asked by the professor how long they thought it would take to write 50 pages, one guy answered: "two weeks."

*facepalm* Only if it's NaNoWriMo and quality doesn't count. (Granted, I have written ten-page papers in two days before, but still. 10 pages is easier to maintain overall coherency.)

Date: 2011-03-13 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know, right? I mean, it's the longest paper I've ever written, and I'm having difficulty making sure that there's one argument running the whole way through... I'll definitely get you to read it sometime. :)

But still, at the very least mine will look much more polished in comparison? I mean, I know that they've done a lot of good research, and I'm sure that they know what they're talking about, but I doubt mine will have many typos and they'll be running themes and it will all look very lovely. I'm also the kind of person to read my papers aloud to see how they sound, which I find works well for getting it clear, coherent and, well, sounding nice. ;) I think that mine will look noticeably more polished. I even have the chance to put it away for a few days then come back to it with fresh eyes, which is always helpful. :)

*high fives*

Date: 2011-03-14 01:15 am (UTC)
kuiskata: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kuiskata
I'll definitely get you to read it sometime.

From what you've said, it certainly sounds interesting. Please say after this term's over, though?

Oh, exactly. A shorter paper, you can manage to get it out quickly and have it looking halfway presentable. That's exponentially harder with a 50-page paper.


Date: 2011-03-14 11:24 pm (UTC)
kuiskata: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kuiskata
As I promised: Secrets, by Vorabiza.

Date: 2011-03-14 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yaaay... Wait, no, must not procrastinate! D: Gah!

(But thanks for being my crack fanfic dealer. :)

Date: 2011-03-16 11:38 pm (UTC)
kuiskata: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kuiskata

(Also, what? I get this comment in my email but not in my on-LJ notifications?? Not cool LJ. You're making me paranoid that I'm not getting these.)

Date: 2011-03-14 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOLOL TWO WEEKS FOR 50 PAGES? That person needs to be uber-efficient about his writing, then...

GOOD LUCK! You've reached the page-count so no matter what you've got your materials down and whatnot, and you can definitely pull through. \o/!

Date: 2011-03-14 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know! I mean, I've written that much before (in really poor quality) for National Novel Writing Month, but this is your THESIS, man. As the professor who was mediating our discussion said, it's going to be set in stone and will always be on your file. You want it as polished as possible, you know?

Date: 2011-03-15 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
EXACTLY! I can't imagine writing so much in such a short period of time. D:

When did you start really working on your thesis? I'm thinking of writing a thesis during the next school year, but I've not really started to think about my topic yet...

Date: 2011-03-16 12:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good question! I had to write a historiography paper last year at this time, which forced me to read a lot on my topic and essentially talk about the historical field surrounding my subject over the past half-century or so. That also gave me an idea of what's been done... and got a lot of research out of the way. Also, mining the bibliographies of those books and papers for primary documents = SO USEFUL.

I did almost nothing last semester except write a really basic outline that I only half-followed... well, and I also got some primary source reading done. A huge chunk of my research had been done the year before for the historiography. I also took several courses over the last two semesters on subjects similar to my topic or at least in the era (stuff like the Health Consequences of War or the History of Slavery & Emancipation), which helped keep my mind on topic and has allowed me to double up readings and research for term papers as well as my thesis.

It was only over Christmas break that I really sat down and wrote things like my introduction and random paragraphs and lines. By January I had only about 10 pages. I've been steadily working on it since, though, and have submitted several drafts to my research supervisor and edited based on her suggestions. I'm handing in a third draft this coming Monday. :)

I hope this info helped! :D

Date: 2011-03-18 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, thanks! So you already had a pretty good idea of sources and stuff like that. That's really impressive--you're on top of it so well! I'm going to be taking hard classes throughout senior year (no senior spring for me D:), so I thought I should get started on the thesis earlier. Still need to come up with a topic, though. >_>

Date: 2011-03-18 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad that I could be of help!

I really stumbled across my thesis topic. I was vaguely considering something to do with aboriginal Canadian history or something - to make use of my French skills, too, in researching - but then I used "The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion" for a history of American medicine paper and I was SOLD. If you find one brilliant source, everything else can follow. ;) Remember, when picking your topic: it really has to grab your attention. You're going to put a lot of hours into reading and writing about this thing, so it had better be interesting! ;)

Date: 2011-03-20 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That sounds so cool. Yeah, the prospect of reading so much on one topic is quite daunting, I hardly know where to begin--I should probably start by just reading more journal articles about such topics, period. XD

Date: 2011-03-20 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I'd get whatever reading you can get done in advance, done. ;)


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