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How to Define Your (PhD) Thesis as Finished

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Myriads of students are trying to finish their (diploma|PhD) thesis. If you reach the end of your (projects money|contract|last deadline|rope) you want this damn thing declared as being finished.

Unfortunately the thesis might not be that finished at all. Here are your options to get a grade and leave for beach volleyball in Hawaii.

http://www.Karl-Voit.at/temp/suderei/2010-08-12_Drawings_illustration_suderei_how_to_finish_a_thesis_0_the_problem.png

In this situation you have to know that your side does not matter at all. It is completely clear that it's your advisor who is the one to be convinced that you earned your prize. This limits your points of influence to three methods:

Method One: complete a perfect thesis

http://www.Karl-Voit.at/temp/suderei/2010-08-12_Drawings_illustration_suderei_how_to_finish_a_thesis_1_method_one.png"

The only reason I mention this option is to provide a complete list. Though its inherent nature which can be compared to the chance of getting married to a sexy partner which is rich, kind, healthy and changes his/her middle name to »I♥<please put your name here>« to express the enormous amount of love between you both, this very option is reported to be seen once in a while. But not at your place.

Your thesis provides completely new and pure knowledge to mankind and everyone wishes to be recognised by its author before he/she dies.

It is clear that your advisor will declare your thesis as finished after the usual complains because of its large amount of insufficiencies.

Method Two: make your advisor your companion

http://www.Karl-Voit.at/temp/suderei/2010-08-12_Drawings_illustration_suderei_how_to_finish_a_thesis_2_method_two.png"

Good news: By including your advisor in any major decision and preliminary results you can get her/him on your side!

If you have direct contact to your advisor you can make her/him think that your thesis is exactly the one thesis which was possible to be accomplished. Every word in it reflects the maximum excellence of current mankind. Attending an introductory course on hypnosis can help. Watching Star Wars for the 42th time does not. Even if you try to get the same vocal tone as Alec Guinness. Or Steve Jobs.

Once you have reached this kind of status your advisor is clearly convinced that this thesis is finished whenever you find any reasonable conclusion.

Method Three: get philosophical

http://www.Karl-Voit.at/temp/suderei/2010-08-12_Drawings_illustration_suderei_how_to_finish_a_thesis_3_method_three.png"

Whenever you have to face the truth that you're not going to finish anything worth the paper you can try to get philosophical: Is it »really« necessary to »finish« things? What about the old Chinese wisdom expressed in »the journey is the reward«?

If you are lucky and your advisor has some sympathy for philosophical implications she/he will give you a positive grade after all. Share a joint afterwards to seal your friendship of souls.

Recommendation

So, what about you? Wanna push mankind any further? Well then it's option one you are heading for! If your thesis sucks and you want to get a grade whatsoever you have to try option two or three. But don't expect a friendly karma! Your thesis sucks anyway.

Good luck with your thesis! You're gonna need it! Each and every positive fortune cookie on the way.

Note: this blog entry was originally authored using Serendipity and converted to Org-mode format for publicvoit via a dumb script. This may result in bad format or even lost content. Please write a comment if you want to get in touch with me so that I can try to fix things.

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