Sometimes I believe finding true love is easier than finding a thesis. It’s hard to take a stance when you don’t know where you’re standing.
Let me be clear, I’m not talking about a dissertation thesis. I wish I was. The struggle for me is with ALL theses. At some point in my academic career, it wasn’t enough just to make an assertion and list 3 points to back it up. You have to compare, contrast, and arrive at grand conclusions about life itself – while being super specific.
My difficulty in finding a thesis reveals a lot about my annoying perfectionist tendencies. “No thesis is ever good enough unless I uncover a new thought never considered before.” To hop on the Frozen bandwagon, let it go. Especially in your undergrad, no one is expecting you to draft a thesis that changes the direction of the world’s orbit. Even if you feel that your thesis is not ‘unique’ or ‘has been done before’, it is the way you explore it that will differ from the other students in your class. The examples you use and how you articulate your thoughts are all valid and contribute to the discussion surrounding your topic.
Unfortunately there is not lost and found box for theses. My tips for finding one are feeble and minuscule, but I shall share them nonetheless.
- Talk to someone! A TA, a friend, a priest. Even if you have nothing to say – you at least have a topic (I hope).
- Do research! Sometimes I plunge into the research aspect without a clear direction. Once you have read enough about your topic you feel more comfortable about what you want to say.
- Read past papers. They can be your own or other papers on the topic. They offer a great starting point if you’re still stuck.
- Fake it until you make it. Write a thesis down. Go with it. Realize that it sucks later on, change it. Trial and error is sometimes the best method.
I’d hate to tear you away from your unfinished thesis, but I have accumulated a Storify that chronicles the thesis struggle for your entertainment. Have a look: