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    Discussion Paper:Dr. Chris Flemming’s Diseases of the Thesis

    AC Ver
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    Post  AC Ver on Tue 21 Sep 2010, 1:40 pm

    Discussion Paper: Dr. Chris Flemming’s Diseases of the Thesis
    By: AC F. Ver


    As I discuss to you the assertions of Chris Flemming in his article Diseases of the Thesis, upfront, let me emphasize that in his article, he said “I can’t claim that this is an exhaustive typology; and even those that do get a mention are not yet recognized by recent incarnations of DSM. That may have something to do with the fact that 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)”.

    Although I concur that writing a thesis isn’t always smooth sailing, I cannot accept completely as a gospel truth his claims that a thesis writer is a fraud designed to mislead people, tormented and depressed. This is so because I believe that thesis writing is a methodology wherein one has to follow in order to arrive in a conclusion that is supported by relevant facts (Johnson, 1993). The process of writing a thesis can be threatening. However, there are certain formats that the writer should follow in order to make the experience much easier (Cunningham, 2004). And because of these steps, a writer can’t be accused of being a fraud as he has comprehensively studied, researched, surveyed on and analyzed his topic, not to mention that he has to subject his conclusions into so many tests. Furthermore, he has to defend his work in front of a panel of experts in the field of his research (Hardy and Ramjeet, 2005). That is why in my opening statement, I presented that Chris Flemming can’t forcefully claim his ideas because thesis writing is a guided work which protects a writer from drifting to a reading depression and becoming a hoax (Simera, 2010). Mr. Flemming may be correct only if the writer is not aware of the steps and processes to be followed which makes the task difficult (UERMMMCI Graduate School, 2010). But a researcher has nothing to fear because there are the existing pioneer studies and researches that can further back up on future idea proposals. It is but normal for a beginner to commit mistakes but with the methodology of thesis writing, these can be detected early, thus, this can shift back on track the thoughts of a thesis writer. Foregoing facts considered, a writer is not tormented just as what Mr. Flemming claimed, on the contrary, the writer benefits from the newly found knowledge out of his hard work. Hence, exhaustive work is the key to good writing which is not adapted by Flemming in his article as what he admitted.

    After this discussion, we can now test whether Flemming is correct or not by answering these questions:
    1. Will in-depth research lead you to fraud?
    2. Will you go wrong after going through the details of the guidelines and standards in thesis writing?
    3. Will you be tormented or will you take the pleasure and benefit of the experience of thesis writing?
    [/font]


    References:
    1. S. J. Cunningham (2004, June 22) How To Write A Thesis. Journal of Orthodontics.
    http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&hid=11&sid=06b67935-77a4-4d8f-908c-1cc48f0bc7c4%40sessionmgr11
    2. Hardy S; Ramjeet J (2006, January 18) Reflections on how to write and organise a research thesis. Nurse Researcher [Nurse Res]
    http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&hid=108&sid=1abf0789-1a44-4d39-98d5-4b67e5b479eb%40sessionmgr110
    3. Johnson SH (1993, December 10) Getting your research published: adapting the thesis style. Nurse Author & Editor [Nurse Author Ed]
    http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&hid=11&sid=8c7c911b-28cc-4c61-99c5-c284e40c80cd%40sessionmgr11
    4. UERMMMCI Graduate School, 2010 (April 2010) Guidelines and Standards in Thesis Writing
    5. Simera I; Moher D; Hirst A; Hoey J; Schulz KF; Altman DG (2010, April 26) Transparent and accurate reporting increases reliability, utility, and impact of your research: reporting guidelines and the EQUATOR Network. BMC Medicine [BMC Med] 2010
    http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=22&hid=109&sid=b76ff668-08a5-430b-879c-b594014ad2c5%40sessionmgr114&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=mnh&AN=20420659




    PriNcE RJ
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    Post  PriNcE RJ on Wed 22 Sep 2010, 12:48 am

    I could say that you have done an interesting, somewhat in-depth discussion on Chris Fleming's Fraud paranoia. It is nice to be reminded that on our thesis writing voyage, we are heading towards a sea of criticisms, scrutiny and meticulous inspections. No
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    Post  AC Ver on Wed 22 Sep 2010, 10:09 am

    Thanks RJ!

    But just as what I've discussed in this paper, we researchers shouldn't be afraid of what it is to come in our research making, it may be overwhelming and intimidating affraid at first but we should remember that thesis writing is a methodology. We can't go wrong when we follow the steps. 'Wink' We are not alone in this journey because we will be having our guidelines, research advisers, and the numerous studies that were made ahead of us that can assist every researcher in formation of ideas.

    It is never too late to learn that's why we better never stop reading. study' In this way, we can expand our ideas and become a better person in our field. Instead of fearing the idea of thesis writing (even if it consumes a lot of our time and effort 'Sleep'), we should still enjoy the experience of it and later on benefit from the new knowledge we have found from our hard work which we can definitely be proud of. 'cheers'
    kristineaajuan
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    Post  kristineaajuan on Wed 22 Sep 2010, 3:12 pm

    If I may quote a part of your review "...Thesis writing is a methodology wherein one has to follow in order to arrive in a conclusion that is supported by relevant facts (Johnson, 1993). The process of writing a thesis can be threatening. However, there are certain formats that the writer should follow in order to make the experience much easier." This part justifies your question whether in-depth research can lead you to fraud. I agree with it when you said that we follow certain formats in order to make the experience easier. However, writing a thesis is also threatening in the sense that though it is supported by relevant facts or different studies made in the past the difficult part is how you will convince your readers that your study is worth their time which for me adds up to the pressure and anxiety the writer is experiencing. When those what if's enter our mind it will bug and distract us during the whole process.

    As what you've mentioned in your article it is but normal for a beginner to commit mistakes but since thesis writing is a methodology we can always shift back on track of our thoughts, yes we can, but still it is our nature as humans that at times we find it hard to accept failure. We go through different kinds of coping before we pick up ourselves again. And this will again add up to the stress a writer is going through which can lead to his/her depression in the long run. Personally, though I am a beginner in writing research papers I have this thinking that what if I am not able to meet the standards of my critic? Which again adds up to the pressure, stress and anxiety I am feeling right now. Probably too many questions and the different emotions that a writer is feeling while making the thesis are the factors that contribute to what Flemming is tackling about.
    roseanne.catalan
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    Post  roseanne.catalan on Wed 22 Sep 2010, 6:56 pm

    Based on how I understand the article, fraud paranoia as mentioned by Fleming is the unnecessary thinking that we are incapable of producing a good output, a thesis for example. Yes I agree with you that we do have methods to go after in thesis writing, but sometimes even if we follow it we cannot help but question our capabilities. We tend to feel less effective. Compare our work to others’ which can add up to the burden of not feeling good about our own work. Writer can be considered as exhibiting fraud paranoia if he thinks it is not sufficient even if it is, not by the way he/she stated facts(lies) because as what you said, it is supported by evidences. That’s why writers resort to reading depression because they think that there is always room for improvement. They always seek perfection.
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    Post  AC Ver on Fri 24 Sep 2010, 5:10 am

    @ kristineaajuan and roseannecatalan,

    thanks for the feedback!

    i could not agree more. thesis writing definitely is not a joke. it needs our full attention and focus to the point that it gets depressing at times. depressing in the sense that we get too anxious on what will be the outcome of what we are researching on; on what others' would say on the knowledge proposal we would like to know more about. that's why it is better if we know the ways on how we, as writers too in thesis making, if not be able to totally eliminate, at least be able to prevent or lessen the incidence of depression that could possibly set in.

    since depression is like an "outbreak" in writers, we should have ourselves guarded with the things that can keep us sane during the process. as what i have said in my discussion paper, it's good to know that we are not alone during this process. there are steps that can make the process of doing it much easier (which i know is better said than done Wink) , there are the established studies that can walk us through in our research and we have our advisers and colleagues to whom we can ask questions from and to whom we can share the experience with (just in case things get out of hand).

    it's like looking at it in a positive way. instead on looking at the issue more on depression itself, it's better to know the aspect of prevention ahead of time and still not even erasing the idea of its possibility. Wink obstacles are part of everything we do and as individuals, we are always tested, it only depends on how we react on the situation. there will be always instances like we are down in the dumps but dwelling more on the feeling can make the situation worst, instead, look at the affirmative side and continue on to the constructive work you have started because in the end you know that you will be able to impart a contribution of new knowledge to your field. with all the trials that comes with thesis writing, at the end, it's all worth it.
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    Post  AC Ver on Fri 24 Sep 2010, 5:12 am

    “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” --E. L. Doctorow

    I would just like to share this quote i've accidentally read in one website. Hope it inspires you too sunny
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    Post  ylaganroidah on Fri 24 Sep 2010, 2:40 pm

    As you have said
    “And because of these steps, a writer can’t be accused of being a fraud as he has comprehensively studied, researched, surveyed on and analyzed his topic, not to mention that he has to subject his conclusions into so many tests. Furthermore, he has to defend his work in front of a panel of experts in the field of his research (Hardy and Ramjeet, 2005).”
    This only shows that even if you do in-depth research this will not lead onto fraud for you have followed the right steps. And if you would follow guidelines and standards in thesis writing you wouldn’t go wrong. Entering graduate school then makes everyone experience the process of thesis writing. At first I wasn’t able to adapt to it but as time goes by, I was able to accept and realize that it would help me the future. Criticisms may arise and may give negative impact on us. But it shouldn’t be a hindrance instead it should be a way to motivate us to do even better on our work. All of these are just processes that we have to experience and we just have to enjoy doing it.
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    Post  mariekathleensantos on Sun 26 Sep 2010, 7:20 pm

    As for me... exploring new knowledge would not lead us to fraud paranoia nor reading depression... to have a superb dissertation, one must read enough to support his study or else it will be like a house without a strong foundation that will collapse when the storm comes... to avoid such negative aspects of thesis writing, we should have a focused mind and a strategic way in taking the steps of becoming a full pledge scholar cheers
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    Post  AC Ver on Mon 27 Sep 2010, 2:55 am

    mariekathleensantos and ylaganroidah thank you for the response I love you

    @mariekathleensantos: i concur on what you have said about reading. reading is really vital in thesis writing since this is one of the ways we can explore existing ideas and consequently broadening our knowledge. truly, the information/learning we have acquired through continuous reading will be the foundation of our study. Wink

    @ylaganroidah: I am in accord on your insights about criticisms. Criticisms are only one of the unchangeable parts of life and it will only depend on us on how we will react on it. I believe that these evaluations (even as how bad it may sound or may have been delivered) are made to lead us. We should look at it in a constructive way, thinking that it could help us in accomplishing the dissertation we are working on, thus, making us better and at the same time making our lives easier since they are like guiding principles we can follow . It is healthier and much more beneficial to be open to our own errors, in that way, we will be able to accommodate additional improvements that will lead us in becoming enhanced writers.
    Very Happy
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    Post  AC Ver on Mon 27 Sep 2010, 3:08 am

    for my follow follow-up queries..

    since thesis writing is a journey not just of our intellect but of our emotions as well and with the various researches stating that depression really happens to eminent writers, have you experienced feeling depressed at some point in making your thesis? if yes, how did you handle the said condition? Question
    PriNcE RJ
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    Post  PriNcE RJ on Mon 27 Sep 2010, 3:13 am

    I felt most depressed when I wasn't able to present my work infront of the panel last friday...until now, I'm greaving in despair...and I'm at lost on how to make the conceptual framework figure... Crying or Very sad

    lol!

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    Post  aimee on Mon 27 Sep 2010, 2:53 pm

    Chris Fleming, in his article, pointed out two mental conditions commonly experienced in the learning institution - Fraud Paranoia and Reading depression. Its a contagious thing in the academia, even great writers or authors of all shapes and sizes, famous or infamous, had their nutsy moments. These, unfortunately, are facts.

    You have claimed that such problem can be avoided by just a matter of being prepared and all-equipped.
    With this, I say YES. Truly, Knowledge is power. Practice builds confidence and indeed, makes perfect.
    khayee_07
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    Post  khayee_07 on Tue 28 Sep 2010, 10:10 pm

    correct me if i'm wrong,
    i have much appreciation with the assertions you made re thesis, but i think i have to opposed you with this one...

    i think chris fleming wasn't really trying to impose that thesis alone is a negative doing or a bad idea to deal with because it brings unlikeable disturbances in our mind.

    i think he was just trying to convey that writing a thesis can be a demanding situation to deal with; but not to the point of bringing discouragement in writing one. based from what i have read, he was only trying to tell us about the psychological disturbances that a thesis writer or even writer in general could experienced...

    Smile Smile Smile Smile
    i may have misunderstood the artcle, please correct me if i'm wrong
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    Post  AC Ver on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 12:50 am

    @khayee_07

    Thanks for the response Very Happy
    I agree that Chris Flemming was trying to convey that depression happens to writers, especially as pointed by the different researches, wherein a lot of eminent writers go through under this. A number of reasons have been asserted on why depression happens, and us writers in thesis writing, we are in a way susceptible to it too. With all the demands of it, the critics and everything, it is normal to experience depression at some point in the course of making our paper. But what I am trying to point and give emphasis on my discussion paper are the ways for us (who have just started on the journey of thesis writing) how to see making of our dissertation more in a positive way. No doubt depression might happen and it’s better for us to know that we are not alone in this ride. Instead on dwelling on it more, we should be further constructive in doing our work and see our goal clear in the process. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally rejecting the idea of the occurrence of depression especially after I have also read the discussion of our colleagues. Actually for my follow up question in this thread I have asked if how are they able to handle depression if they have experienced this. However, I have wanted to point out that we have a stand in this situation with all the guidelines, researches, and people who can help us to make it somehow easier. Very Happy
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    Post  therese_132409 on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 5:39 pm

    what we are experiencing on rpoducing the chapter 1 of our thesis, it surely will leave lessons to be learned - positive or negative. it's good that we have these guidelines to follow for us to be able to come up with a good thesis. but sometimes, we still feel worried if we really followed the steps because we are not yet satisfied with what we have produced. thesis writing not only can give benefit to us, but also to the readers when we are able to publish our own research study.
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    Post  maricca_18 on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 9:19 pm

    i agree with khayee_07
    all things has negative and positive impact. as part of the picture (in doing thesis) we only see one side (the negative side), but, if we look at the whole picture or if it can be look by different person, they can see both, the positive side of doing thesis for the one who is doing it, is he or she gain more knowledge about what he is researching and he can share it to someone what he knew or discover something new that is interesting.

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