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Thesis in Three

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In a PhD, we are expected to write close to 100,000 words.

In a Masters we are expected to produce 30,000 words.

Imagine all the effort and pain it takes to write even a single paragraph of an academic masterpiece. Your theoretical framework, your methods and methodology, your research context, research participants, analysis, discussion.. the list goes on and on. In imaginary terms, with a PhD you try to come up with substance that can produce the mass the size of the Earth, and the thickness of your final thesis reflects this.

Now imagine that you have to take this planetary sized mass, and compress it. Compress it until the very ground you walk on shakes and moans, buckling under the strain. Compress it until everything comes to a juddering stop. And you are left with a ball the size of a marble, but containing the mass of a whole planet.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Thesis in Three.

Three minutes to sum up your life's work.

Three minutes to justify your existence in the academic wasteland.

Three minutes to answer three questions.

What is your research about?

Why are you doing it?

How are you doing it?

And with that your time is over. And you are judged.

I have just conquered the first wasteland. I am one of two PhD candidates who will now represent the College of Education in the final showdown.

Tomorrow I will either emerge victorious as the Conqueror of UC, or drown in the sorrows of defeat.

I am an Academic Warrior.

Ka mate! Ka mate!


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