Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dissertation Proposals

FLG found this post by Emily Hale funny:
I'm filling out the dissertation proposal graduate school form. One section is: "Problem or Hypothesis: State clearly the research problem you intend to investigate. You should be able to define your problem or hypothesis in no more than 100 words." Another section: "Procedure or Method: Briefly describe how you plan to investigate the problem you have identified."

Goodness gracious--surely whoever made this form was a scientist.

My goodness, this is so much easier than she makes it out to be.

Problem or Hypothesis: State clearly the research problem you intend to investigate.

Insert reasonable-but-ultimately-unprovable-by-empirical-analysis assertion about the nature of politics or some minute yet unexplored aspect of the writings of some obscure theorist here.

Procedure or Method: Briefly describe how you plan to investigate the problem you have identified.

Standard political theory disseration process verbiage goes here:
I plan to read as much about the topic as I can, including both primary and secondary sources, until I both bleed from my eyes and go slightly insane. Once that step is completed, I will write copious amounts of material that leads me down intellectual ratholes until my fingers bleed. Once that step is completed, I will try to smash it all together into a coherent piece that I can defend in my current state of complete insanity.

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Then again, FLG could be completely wrong about the whole thing. Didn't he say he knows nothing about the political theory grad school experience? But that's the gist FLG gets of the process.

1 comment:

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