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    Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

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    PriNcE RJ

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    Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  PriNcE RJ on Tue 21 Sep 2010, 2:19 pm

    A Feedback on Chris Fleming’s Diseases of the Thesis
    By: Robert John C. Napoles

    As a novice in the thesis world, Chris Fleming’s Diseases of the Thesis is a humorous intellectual collection of anecdotal claims for me. According to Chris Fleming, there are different psychological disorders that a writer is experiencing or has experienced through his course of thesis writing, namely: Fraud Paranoia, Reading Depression, Never-ending Story Delirium, Motion Sickness, Been there, Done that Illness, and Pre-emptive Strike Syndrome.

    As part of his introduction, Mr. Fleming said and may I quote, “These illnesses are not unique to persons; although it might be stretching it to call them ‘cultural’, it seems fairly evident that they are not merely individual maladies. It is, however, part of a symptomatology common to them all to suggest just this to those afflicted – part of the disease, that is, is to believe that you are alone in having it (and perhaps also beyond cure).” In my understanding, Mr. Fleming claims that every disease that he enumerated should be considered as a stereotyped syndrome of psychological disorders when making a thesis because they occur to thesis writers in general. Classifying and differentiating mental disorders is laborious and confusing thus the Psychiatric diagnosis, as a medical framework for understanding mental health, has been integrated into cultures worldwide. There are two manuals that inform us of psychiatric classifications: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) published by the World Health organization (WHO). (British Journal of Nursing, 2008) Mr. Fleming’s aforementioned diseases are not from meticulous and exhaustive typology, as he said. Although some maybe popular or catching, they are not recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Another claim made by Mr. Fleming is that, a part of the mechanism of these diseases in affecting thesis writers is to shroud the individual into an illusion that he is isolated with these problems but in reality, almost all thesis writers experience the same. In the medical field, clients are considered unique through the course of diagnosis and treatment. (Nursing Outlook, 2000) Though diseases are classified based on their corresponding signs, symptoms and pathophysiologies, clients are still considered as highly individualized persons.

    I stated earlier that this reading material appears “humorous” for me in the sense that I can relate to each diseases with an inside joke. For instance, Fraud Paranoia claims that a thesis writer’s intellectual ambitions amount to little more than an elaborate hoax designed to mislead people just to salvage the thesis writer’s competency. In relation to my experience in deciding on what particular problem to undergo study with, I realized that oftentimes a writer wants to deal with the issue that he’s most interested in. It is not his intent to commit a malicious deceit, a malevolent deception, or a fraudulent misinterpretation of what is already unknowingly present in the countless collection of studies. Thus it is an obsolete requirement that a thesis writer vigorously reads and reads and self-regulate in order to deflect this mistake. Self-regulation in doing a thesis involves planning or goal-setting, organizing, self-consequencing, seeking help and information, and environmental structuring. (Lajom & Magno, 2010) May we be reminded also that before a research or thesis proposal is approved for publish, the writer is given the opportunity to capture and reflect upon all aspects of the work completed during the research process. Its sole purpose is to prove that the chosen research approach was carefully considered, ethically applied and, as a result, the research has made a useful contribution to the body of nursing research knowledge. (Rolfe 1998) Furthermore, the most high-level, research-based degrees are examined on the written thesis and through a viva voce (oral examination known as a viva). The viva offers the opportunity for questions not clearly answered through reading the thesis to be asked. It allows the examiners to determine whether the student is familiar with the literature, has personally completed the research and has written the thesis. (Hardy, 2005)

    In conclusion, writing a research thesis can be one of the most demanding endeavour. It subjects the writer to diverse and multifarious botherations and predicaments. Psychological stressors may arise, but one must not delve in dealing with them. The goal of writing a thesis is not to make the writer a deranged man, but to use the product of the study to provide or add a comprehensive description of what is known in and around the field of inquiry. To err is human...

    The writer of this reaction paper wants to hear from you:

    1. Acknowledging that the readers of this reaction paper are researchers and thesis writers as well, are there instances that you have personally experienced any of Chris Fleming’s Psychological diseases during your thesis making?

    2. If your answer is yes, why and how did it/they arise?

    3. Will you succumb in the idea that in writing a thesis, you develop psychological disorders that haunts you for life?

    4. What are the better experiences that you can share, in making a thesis, that would envelope this monogamous psychological syndrome that Chris Fleming recognized?


    Last edited by PriNcE RJ on Wed 22 Sep 2010, 1:00 am; edited 3 times in total

    ylaganroidah

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    re: the writer of this reaction paper wants to hear from you

    Post  ylaganroidah on Tue 21 Sep 2010, 11:34 pm

    Yes, I have experienced personally some of the psychological disease under Chris Flemings’s article. Reading depression for instance, as I was doing my review of related literature, I searched information in the internet about the topic I choose. First, you will be overwhelmed on how many information are being shown that is related to the topic. Then I tend to open all pertinent information listed. From there I would start to read the said literature. As I read through it, there would also be an instance that there is no enough detail it gives, so I open again another one and it goes one. So I end up having a lot of web page opened at the same time and when I was about to start to write, I was not yet that organized in formulating what I just read because of the too much information I have. Maybe, you can develop a certain psychological disorder. For example of a psychological disorder is depression. When you write a thesis, you have to be sure of the topic that you want to do. And in the long run, after you have finished all the parts of the thesis, there would come a time that your thesis proposal may be rejected. And because of this, you can develop depression of what happened that somehow may affect your life. Depression in a way that you have done everything to do the thesis and it was just rejected. I may not have a better experience that I can share in term of the monogamy of psychological syndrome, but I think thru enjoyment of what you are doing would help in enveloping the monogamy of this psychological syndrome.
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    PriNcE RJ

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  PriNcE RJ on Wed 22 Sep 2010, 12:21 am

    Thank you for your reply Ms. Ylagan. king

    I for one have experienced some of Chris Fleming's coined psychological disorders even though I'm just at my early stage of writing a thesis. The "Motion sickness" disorder is a menace whenever I try to sit still infront of the computer. When I try to think on how I could innovate and improve what I already wrote in the introduction of my research study, I end up thinking or doing other things. The "Pre-emptive strike syndrome" usually causes my dismay. Whenever I try to write about something interesting for me, assuring that the issue is within the perimeters of nursing, I end up throwing it in the recycle bin because the end-result is not good enough for me, or in secluding the defense mechanism, I think that it's not good enough for others.

    Does this mean that we are accepting these diseases as part of our thesis-writing-lives?
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    AC Ver

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  AC Ver on Wed 22 Sep 2010, 11:12 am

    Hi RJ!

    Answering to the questions you posed, yes, I have at some point experienced gloominess (but not really to the point of major depression) during thesis writing. It occurred just when I'm about to start, maybe because of the idea of the time and effort I'll be spending in making it and also sometime during the process when I'm in doubt of what idea to come up with. But we should remember that thesis writing is a methodology, wherein there are steps to follow that can make the experience on making one much easier. I agree when you said, "The goal of writing a thesis is not to make the writer a deranged man, but to use the product of the study to provide or add a comprehensive description of what is known in and around the field of inquiry."

    With the guidelines in thesis writing, previous researches, and the help of our advisers considered, a writer is not tormented and alone just as what Mr. Flemming claimed, on the contrary, the writer benefits from the newly found knowledge out of his hard work. Very Happy
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    PriNcE RJ

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  PriNcE RJ on Wed 22 Sep 2010, 11:45 am

    Thank you for your reply Ms. Ver. king

    It seems that you are really a firm epitome of methodological thesis writing! cheers
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    PriNcE RJ

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  PriNcE RJ on Thu 23 Sep 2010, 12:54 am

    As of the comments that I've recieved so far, I concur that Chris Fleming's Diseases, though not officially recognized and generally accepted by all, are psychological maladies that occur to many thesis writers beyond their control. It is good to know then that such afflictions happen and we are not alone in having them. The awareness ideally would lead us to better compliance with these diseases of the thesis.

    mariekathleensantos

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  mariekathleensantos on Sun 26 Sep 2010, 7:59 pm

    Hi PRINSIPE rj!!!
    well... i kinda disagree with what chris flemming has stated in his article. well it's true that we tend to read tons and tons of articles, books, journals but it is not an indication that we are fake scholars that maintain a deceitful image. We really need to read as much as we could to cope up with the challenges we face. As for me, one dwells in such a pessimistic mind set if he is undecided on what has to be done and seeking for a perfect dissertation. with what i have learned from our sessions with Mr. Butcon, (especially last friday) we should be focused on what we are doing and be simple in our way of thinking in order for us to arrive to a great output. In addition, we should not forget the reason for our existence in the graduate school, it is not to impress the people wround us but to be able to contribute new knowledge and perspectives in our profession Smile
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    PriNcE RJ

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  PriNcE RJ on Mon 27 Sep 2010, 2:25 am

    Thanks for the reply Ms. Santos. king

    Well, I also don't agree with Chris Fleming's thought that a lot of thesis makers would result to fraud just to prevent a halt in writing (as what Ms. Ver always justify with her "methodological stand in thesis writing" -> study ). lol!

    The thing about thesis writing (which I only realized now because I have to be serious in doing it) that makes it seem like a perilous journey is that, before you start, you should meticulously dig up each and every researches and studies related to your chosen thesis problem so that there would be a very minimal possibility that your work would not turn out to be a copy from others. It is like an inquest or a wild-goose chase where, if humanely feasible, you leave no stones unturned. That's where I think the paranoia originates.

    Yes, it is exact that our goal in making our own thesis is to contribute something untouched or to descry the least recognized in the field of nursing; but it wouldn't kill us if we try to be like an Avant-garde while doing it (which I think Ms. Makalintal would agree since she is a quintessence of creative writing). Wink

    Fraud paranoia is an enthralling topic to argue with because it solicits a lot of negative reactions but I think it's time to give attention to the other five diseases which are equally interesting to discuss. cat

    How about we tackle on:

    Motion sickness defined as a disease of the thesis that relates more to motor abilites and is obvious only when sitting down in an attempt to work. To an observer, unaware of your condition, you (the thesis writer) look like you have sat on a sharp object. You may decide that pain caused can only be relieved by a cup of tea, whereupon you return only to have your buttocks again meet the sharp object. Tea apparently didn't work. Suspect

    OR

    Pre-emptive Strike Syndrome defined as a disease of the thesis that has these symptoms: you glaze over your writing in the morning, and it appears to you like a teenage poetry you used to write drunk or stoned. But you weren't drunk or stoned. At this point you decide that you can't or won't share this dross. Why? 'It's not ready yet.' You say:
    "this is a draft."
    "this is a rough draft."
    "a very rough draft."
    "a very, very rough draft."
    "this is crap."
    "I didn't write it."
    "I found it. Can you believe that?"
    "I thought you might find it interesting."
    "Actually, you won't, I don't think. I didn't. Not sure why I'm showing you actually." <- king : Does this ring a bell? This is a major reaction that applies to all e10 members when it's time to showcase our work to Mr. Butcon! lol!
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    aimee

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  aimee on Tue 28 Sep 2010, 9:28 am

    I do agree that thesis writing is a very stressful task. Anything that puts stress in our body activates the fight and flight hormone,but up to a considerable extent, beyond that negative effects will be manifested. This biological basis is scientifically proven.
    Fraud Paranoia, on the other hand,is an anxious thought or fear that after a rigid training, studying or reviewing, you still question your competency. Chris Fleming's claim for me is true, because it has occurred to me several times not only during thesis writing but all throughout my school life.Have you ever had this feeling that even if you did everything in your power to study or review, you still feel unready? so what do you do? - If I panic I go into reading depression. I would have this uncontrollable urge in buying or at least acquiring a copy of references. Funny thing is , I haven't really started on reading those books. It just gives me this unexplainable feeling of security and comfort.I owe it all to my mother's love and support which aided me in coping up. Had I not have her in my life I would have gone mad a long time ago. tongue


    Last edited by aimee on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 2:42 am; edited 2 times in total
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    maricca_18

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  maricca_18 on Tue 28 Sep 2010, 11:22 am

    i experienced reading depression, especially right now while doing the chapter 1 of our thesis, in the part of review of related literature, i need to gain more knowledge on my research that is why i need to read more and compare different studies, and look for new studies that are present in regards with my thesis and also doing a research, we really need time so we can do it in a good way. In preventing this kind of disease, i pause for a while or do some things which can divert my attention for a little while or talk to someone and express my emotions.
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    cezzy

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  cezzy on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 12:52 am

    The pre-emptive strike syndrome is also what I believe a "disease" that happens to the majority, including me. It's like this.. after I put into writing my thoughts, intra-personal communication follows. Telling: "This is just a draft.." then, early morning the following day, I'll look and read at it again for clarifications and revision purposes, then will say to self, "Have I written this one? highlight the whole paragraph and erase it. Then again back to composing and arranging my thoughts objectively, thinking optimistically that it can somehow result into a better assertion. Sequence of revision always happens. It seems that if there is no deadline involve, I think my paper would probably be revised every day. cyclops Adversity in writing is really a part of our maturing personality as writers. In analogy with life, troubles and obstacles strengthen us, so we must not be ashamed or humiliated if our writings has flaws and was criticized. Cliché but true: Just learn from that mistakes and move on be the best writer that you can be. cheers

    Well, just want to commend you for opening up other issues that is actually included in the article. Thank you for sharing it to others! santa

    therese_132409

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  therese_132409 on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 4:03 pm

    i have experienced fraud paranoia back when we wre still in college until now. it's nice to know how will i or we call that feeling because of Chris Fleming. also, reading depression in the same manner. i recently felt it when i try to collate all related literature that is connected to my research study but then, after reading them it seems that i don't even understand them fully and think that it's not related to my study at all. then, i'll search again and so on. it's true that you really have to read.read.read for what sir butcon told us. i relaized it when the references from various documents i have downloaded reach upto 100+. it ain't even half of what i have read all along. it's like how'd they do that? how many months or years before they gathered all those informations that will support their study? a disorder might haunts a person's life for life or not. it depends on him or her if he will just keep it or leave it behind his or her own system for life goes on and it's just an ordinary feeling common to all human being.
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    khayee_07

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  khayee_07 on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 5:07 pm

    after reading the thread of your article and the posts made by our classmates; it seems that it is conclusive to say that it is acceptable for thesis writers to be in such mental illness... due to the demands and consequences of engaging in thesis writing which seemed to be a great factor right? Smile

    i kept analyzing myself and thinking whether i experienced pre-emptive strike syndrome and motion sickness during my thesis writing, honestly i can't remeber anything for that matter... drunken hahahah Laughing


    but may i just share what i experienced in particular...
    during my thesis writing, i didn't have the thought of considering even before i start, that my intro is just a draft or not enough...., instead,i tend to be obsessive into writing something more and more, i have this tendency of sitting down all day, and seeking for more ideas to include in my article until the required time of submission came...,

    just keep adding more and more... hmmm... well, in some ways, maybe i wasn't satisfied enough?! huh!! Evil or Very Mad
    i don't know...., Crying or Very sad
    that's all i could remember for that matter... hahah Very Happy

    did i just confuse you?
    didn't i bring any significant thoughts at all? hope not.... hahaha drunken
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    roseanne.catalan

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  roseanne.catalan on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 9:28 pm

    Been there, done that and pre-emptive strike syndrome, for me, are the "diseases" that somewhat became a hindrance in writing a good thesis.
    Along the journey of writing a thesis, I never felt that the output of my hard work the night before was ready, presentable or worthwhile the next morning. It looks as if I have never been satisfied with how I propose my ideas through writing. It appears that there is always something wrong. In the end, I tend to overload my script detailing every connotation in relation to my topic. I opt to insert additional information leaving it very informative(?) and sometimes incoherent, informative to the point that it is not necessary. I don't know but it seems that there is always something lacking.
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    PriNcE RJ

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    Re: Reflection on Chris Fleming's Diseases of the Thesis

    Post  PriNcE RJ on Fri 01 Oct 2010, 11:35 am

    Thanks for your replies Ms. Amabelle, Ricca, and Cez. king

    I am with you in acknowledging that some of Chris Fleming's mentioned psychological diseases are but products of our thesis writing stress. I even think that these diseases do not apply only to thesis writers but to everyone working on something that has to be productive, worthwhile to invest attention to, or something that can be of servitude or help to the world or mankind; any work that requires utmost responsibility. Thus, it also creates untoward symptoms to the pressured worker.

    Ms. Makalintal, thank you for your compliment. I just wanted to make our classmates aware that there is more to talk about than fraud paranoia and reading depression, that actually there are four more diseases unnoticed...and maybe because I got bored in reading negative attacks to fraud paranoia which bulked a lot of our classmates' threads. lol!

    Ms. Poblete, about your question, well actually I got confused. lol!

    Ms. Catalan, yeah I experienced that too! Whenever I read an information that's quite a marvel, I tend to insert it to wherever part of my paper. But then I realize, Sir Butcon wouldn't be happy seeing this...it would just make my statements unbearing and at lost and he would be abhored by this. So I delete the "unuseful useful information" that I got. Thanks for siting that one. Wink

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