I\’m Too Sexy for My Master\’s Thesis


a community of shared ideas

Posted in collaboration,thesis by Rae on 3 May 2006

A few weeks ago, the Word Choice blog posted about the desire to produce amazing research versus solid research:

i tend to find myself always in search of the “new,” the “exciting,” the “totally innovative and creative” interpretation that will do amazing things in my field….for me, fox was a reality check that good history occurs in a community of shared ideas. yes, its incredibly important to acknowledge our intellectual debts, but i appreciate his realistic approach that encourages a focus on what is happening as ideas circulate as opposed to what happens when they sit alone in our brains.

I've dealt with this in my own research. I want to produce totally original work (which isn't required for a Master's) plus I want to find the sources that no one else has. Finding cool stuff like that is great but not necessary to produce great work. Your work needs to be your own, but that doesn't mean it needs to be far off the beaten track. After all, that beaten track (also known as a literature review to doctoral students) is there for a reason.

And it's true that "good history occurs in a community of shared ideas," which is why it's terribly important to attend a school that has a strong focus on your area of research. If it doesn't, you have to scrounge around for faculty guidance and your fellow students won't know what the hell you're talking about.

On another note, there is a faculty member at my university (he's not in the History department) who's interested in my research and knows something about my topic. He responded to a paper I presented at a symposium in March, and we're planning to meet some time during the next week to discuss my research further.

Woohoo!

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One Response to 'a community of shared ideas'

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  1. tso said,

    “…but I only have myself to blame.” I don’t agree! We’ll discuss this later.


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