April showers bring may flowers. But it also has to bring an end to one of the most rewarding and daunting experience of my life: My thesis.
For the last four years, I have been working towards my Masters of Arts in Communications through Johns Hopkins; while I finished my coursework nearly two years ago, I have been picking at this thesis ever since. A little research here, a little writing there. Some (one hundred) revisions, a few (thousands) edits, and the end is in (finally) sight.
In my defense, though, I did open a little wedding photography business for some pretty kick-booty couples during these last few years. I also got a dog: A Jack Russell who totally lives up to his reputation. So…I have excuses.
But those excuses all have to end this month. It is time to pack it up and move it out into the world. I have loved everything about this process, but it’s time. It has been almost five years since the events of my thesis occurred, and would love to have it done and defended in time for that anniversary.
***MAJOR GEEKING OUT IN PROGRESS. CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK***
My thesis has examined how Israeli and Palestinian news outles leverage Twitter during the first part of their 2014 conflict; an additional layer to that was whether or not tenants of peace journalism were applied. This is important research to me for so many reasons: I have always had an obsession with the Middle East Peace Process, I was in the country of Israel during this conflict, I love learning more about how we use these new web tools that we call social media. Most importantly, however, I have always wanted to write and defend a thesis in order to add to the body of knowledge of a topic, all in the hopes of making a bigger difference in this world. I am excited that I am thisclose to making that a reality.
So, after two years of this, I can offer a little advice if you are in thesis pieces:
1. Make a timeline and stick to it.
2. Save every single article you are citing as a PDF (if you can). Keep all of those in one spot, organized by authors’ last names.
3. Don’t just put a last name and year in your references thinking you’ll know EXACTLY who that is. You won’t.
4. Have two documents: One with your working draft and others with the “scraps” you cut from the working draft. Don’t waste those words; you will never know when you may need them again.
5. Be prepared to have it bound. Yes, you can order printed and bound copies. After all that work, it’s nice to know it will at least be on your bookshelf if no one else’s.
Good luck to you–and now, I better get back at it…I will come back here to let you know how it goes!
First Things First is a monthly blog series by Kayla Lee, published on the first of every month. If nothing else, she hopes it helps you make your monthly goals a reality, and that those goals help you grow!