Saturday, April 19, 2014

Thesis lessons: the process

By Briana Whiteside

One key thing that I’ve learned to appreciate about writing my thesis is the process. I am often one who likes to go from A-Z and skip the steps in between. However, it is those steps that are most crucial to developing any argument.

[Related: Thesis lessons: reading the field]

I worked on my thesis actively for 2 years. I found ways to write on it in every course, and I wrote various blog entries on the idea of the uncanny. Developing a new approach to the theory and applying it to Af-Am lit seemed daunting and often frustrated me.

Through the thesis process, I’ve learned the importance of patience and the art of actively working on an idea. Repurposing or creating any concept takes time, and for someone who was accustomed to breezing through everything, I thought I was running out!

In retrospect, those unsure moments and stressful times were spurts of growth. My project challenged me, and at times felt too big or unconquerable. I now realize that the process helped to develop patience where I was lacking. Over the course of the last two years, I have learned to trust the process more and enjoy the learning on the way to the finished product.

Briana Whiteside is a graduate student in English at SIUE and a contributing writer for the Cultural Front.  

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