tips post graduation to stop the mind going something something

Hi all,

I've finally finished my Bachelor of Arts in June majoring in Anthropology, Philosophy, International Development Studies and a sub major in International Relations. Whilst i'm glad i've completed it, I won't be doing any more study under next year, when I enrol in Honours in Anthropology. My boyfriend and I are buying a house together, so have decided to go back full time until then so I can save up some money.

 

I've noticed my brain becoming a bit starved since finishing study. Although I'm reading lots, and I've had one of my essays from my degree submitted to a journal, I'm finding myself becoming a bit bored and don't want to lose the drive that I have when I'm studying.

 

Anyone able to offer any tips for something productive that can be done in preparation for Honours next year? I've been speaking to a possible superviser for Honours and think I'll be doing my thesis on something related to welfare, as my PhD interest is poverty alleviation and it is apparently a good stepping stone to use your Honours degree for PhD.

 

Looking forward to any advice :) Thanks, Ainslee

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Hi Ainslee,

 

I think you should do a small ethnographic project. Perhaps do something related to your eventual plans for your thesis, or, as I would do, do something you're interested in but which is totally unrealted to your thesis because you will be doing that for a long time, AND you don't want to rush in unprepared and possibly somehow scupper future imnportant relations. If you do this, be mindful of ethical issues and keep things manageable. Present results on here, or collaborate with informants on a web site or film.

 

All teh best, Elaine

Ainslee,

 

I too just finished off my B.A., and want to stay sharp and involved.  I always have four or five personal research projects on the back burner for just such a situation.  These are questions that have aroused my attention, and I start a file (actually a BackPack page) where I collect anything (e.g. links to papers, news articles, websites of people doing similar research) that relates to each one.  then when I have spare time, I dive into one of them and try to get some real traction.

 

Just a thought!

 

Paul

Thanks Elaine and Paul :)

 

I've been keeping a research journal. A friend of mine suggested I start one even at undergrad level as it will be able to keep track of my thoughts and ideas for my thesis. I had a brief read through it the other day, and it's interesting to see how my thoughts and ideas have changed over time, even the way I think and formulate ideas.

 

I've decided (I *think*) on my thesis idea for Honours. I want to look at the ways in which Indigenous peoples are treated in regards to welfare and what this says about the country, comparing various countries. At this stage it's very rough. I had considered doing another thesis question, however, it turned out that it would have been too difficult ethically as it would be related to my job.

 

I've always had another thesis idea, being the presentation of self in online worlds. The reason I'm not going with this for my thesis, is that for my PhD, I want to look at poverty, and therefore I think that my honours thesis ideas might be a good stepping stone for this. The whole online worlds thing fascinates me though, wish I could do two theses at once!!

 

Elaine: I would love to explore the unrelated subject as mentioned above, I've just been so used to being taught in undergrad, that it feels completely weird doing something on my own, as I feel like I need to justify it to myself rather than just "I want to do it because it interests me". I haven't yet found a reason as to why doing something along those lines would be beneficial to others.

 

Paul: these ideas, are they basically something that you would then write something on and submit to a journal?

 

Thanks in advance for any further advice :) Cheers, Ainslee

 

Hi Ainslee,

 

I think the main thing to remember is that it's "only" a thesis, and you have to save something for the rest of your academic career! A thesis should be focussed on a coherent theme and ask and answer in detail a set of questions on a topic, but it won't be an exhaustive piece about every last element of your topic. So, in your thesis proposal I would reconsider the part about comparing various countries because to do so properly you would far exceed the limits of a thesis, and probably not do justice to each context.

 

Believe me, after a year of intensive fieldwork I have about 5 theses but the problem is that I only need 1, and a good one at that. It seems to be a common predicament that doctoral students have to keep limiting the extent of their thesis in order to produce quality work. It may seem counteruntuitive to leave good work out, but the trick is to see where digressions are strong enough to form work in their own right and leave them for the future. At your stage, it is important above all to set yourself a manageable task.

 

good luck with it, Elaine

 

Ainslee Hooper said:

I've decided (I *think*) on my thesis idea for Honours. I want to look at the ways in which Indigenous peoples are treated in regards to welfare and what this says about the country, comparing various countries. At this stage it's very rough. I had considered doing another thesis question, however, it turned out that it would have been too difficult ethically as it would be related to my job.

 

I've always had another thesis idea, being the presentation of self in online worlds. The reason I'm not going with this for my thesis, is that for my PhD, I want to look at poverty, and therefore I think that my honours thesis ideas might be a good stepping stone for this. The whole online worlds thing fascinates me though, wish I could do two theses at once!!

 

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