Friday, May 27, 2011

Some assembly required

Jigsaw puzzles seems daunting at first. The scattered pieces offer glimpses of what might be, but not until you lay out the edges do you begin to get a sense of what you are working towards. My thesis is a puzzle whilst my research proposal and supervisor form the 'edge pieces.' These pieces will help me achieve the final product, a finished thesis, the picture on the front of the box.

Just like those edge pieces, I think a research proposal and a good supervisor are indispensable. Without them, this jigsaw puzzle of mine would never get past the overwhelming stage. That's not to say that it's not daunting even with these two lifelines!

If you've been following my posts you might remember I'd been struggling with a particular problem with my writing. I was launching straight into the details without taking my reader with me. I was frustrated with myself because I continually made this same mistake. I think I am getting better at this now I'm more aware of it. And now I'm working on addressing another problem area within my writing, clearly stating my argument. It really is amazing how ignorant you can be of your flaws until someone else points them out to you. I'm  finding the feedback very useful, hopefully it will help me improve my coursework too.

Speaking of coursework... I had never been more nervous about getting an assignment back than I was for the first assessment I turned in for Honours this year. It's funny how everyone has such different approaches to checking their marks. My approach, and from what I can tell I'm in the minority, is to read all the comments and then look at the mark. I like to have some inkling of what to expect on the back page. Everyone else seems to apply the band-aid approach, racing frantically to the back for that all-important number and then scanning through the rest of the assignment at their leisure.

I was happy with my mark and grateful for the detailed feedback but achieving a higher grade category would have been a nice reaffirming 'I can do this' boost.  You can't have everything in life though and I did my best. I just have to try not to let this unsettle me and throw my energies into the upcoming assignments and exams instead. Easier said than done though. Reading this back I can see I need to believe in myself, after all I have risen to challenges before.

As always, thanks for reading this and feel free to comment or ask me a question. The best of luck putting the pieces together in your thesis.

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