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The Thesis/Dissertation Defense

This is your chance to decide before the political spin machines get their hands on it.

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Stage 6- Revising the Research Paper

Don't try to come up with a thesis first, and then investigate it. Startby exploring some task domain. Take some initial ideas and push them hardfor a year or so. Now, stop and think about what you've done and what you'velearned. Among your accomplishments and experience, there will be severalgood candidate theses. Pick one. Test it out on your advisor and other facultymembers. Test it out on other students. Is it a claim that you can describeclearly and briefly? Is it a claim that anyone cares about? Is it a claimthat people don't find perfectly obvious, or if they do find it obvious,can you convince them that it could easily be false.

Okay, you're ready to write your research proposal. Here are some ideasto help with the task:

This is a reasonable thesis if process X is a serious contender. Thedefense would be an analysis of the limits of process X, i.e., things itcan't do, or things it does wrong, along with evidence that those thingsmatter.

The following ideas should help you keep the meeting on your agenda.

Thesis: process X is a better way to do task Y than any previouslyknown method

A decade later, another political science major started out on the path that Hillary Rodham had rejected, going to work for a group in the Alinsky mold. That was Barack Obama, now a U.S. senator from Illinois and her leading opponent for the Democratic nomination. After attending Columbia University, he worked as an organizer on the South Side of Chicago for the Developing Communities Project. Obama and others of the post-Alinsky generation described their work in the 1990 book in which Obama wrote that he longed for ways to close the gap between community organizing and national politics. After three years of organizing, he turned to Harvard Law School and then the Illinois legislature.

37. Oh, I almost forgot. There's one last thing. Get busy and preparean article or paper that shares the outcomes of your research. Therewill be no better time to do this than now. Directly after your defenseis when you know your study the best and you will be in the best position toput your thinking on paper. If you put this writing task off it will probablynever get done. Capitalize on all of the investment you have made in yourresearch and reap some additional benefit - start writing.

It alsoexplains the practicalities of surviving the ordeal.

‘She's a pragmatist’
Clinton's friendly biographers, without being able to read the thesis in the 1990s, have downplayed the Alinsky connection. Judith Warner's "Hillary Clinton: The Inside Story" managed to describe the thesis without once mentioning Alinsky, whose name appears on every page. Gail Sheehy's "Hillary's Choice" gave the thesis a benign new title, “Aspect of the War on Poverty,” describing it as merely an examination of federal anti-poverty programs in Chicago.

“His offer of a place in the new institute was tempting,” she wrote in the end notes to the thesis, “but after spending a year trying to make sense out of his inconsistency, I need three years of legal rigor.” She enrolled at Yale that fall, a year ahead of a charming Rhodes Scholar from Arkansas.

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  • Then put all the folders in a box or a filing cabinet.

    15. Now here are a few more ideas regarding the defining of your researchproject through your proposal.

  • The readers of a thesis do not know what the "answer" is.

    Can a college research paper really be the Rosetta Stone to deciphering a candidate's politics or character?

  • The reader can probably find out via the net or the library.

    There is a section on chapter order and thesis structure at the end of this text.

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Do not sacrifice accuracy for the sake of brevity.

Well that about does it. By following the above suggestions and ideasI hope it will be possible for you to finish your graduate degree programin a most timely and enjoyable manner. By looking ahead to the differentaspects of this final part of your graduate study it becomes clear thatyou can do a number of things to insure your success. Good luck!

Try to step back mentally and take a broader view of the problem.

Following this structured presentation the committee begins to ask questions,but as can be expected the questions follow along with the wall chartsand the whole discussion proceeds in an orderly manner. If guests are presentat the defense, this form of presentation helps them also follow alongand understand exactly what was accomplished through the research.

How does it fit into the broader world of your discipline?

Cardiovascular diseases and hypertension are common in the aging population. Nutritional life-style factors can help to reduce and maintain a healthy level of blood pressure. Two milk-derived tripeptides, Ile-Pro-Pro and Val-Pro-Pro, have been shown to decrease elevated blood pressure in humans and in experimental models. They also improve endothelial dysfunction and thus promote vascula...

How relevant do they have to be before you include them?

I ask the student to prepare a 20-25 minute presentation that reviewsthe entire study. This is done through the help of a series of 10-12 largepieces of paper, wall charts, that have been posted sequentially aroundthe walls of the room. Each piece of paper contains key words regardingeach of the different aspects of the study. Some pieces of paper containinformation about the study setting, questions and methodology. Other piecesof paper present findings and finally there are those pieces that presentthe conclusions and implications. By preparing these wall charts aheadof time the student is able to relax during the presentation and use thepieces of paper as if they were a road map toward the goal. No matter hownervous you are you can always let the wall charts guide YOU throughyour presentation. Lettering is done with a dark marking pen and extranotes are included in very small printing with a pencil (that no one canreally see). We've also tried it with overhead projected transparenciesbut it doesn't work as well. With the transparencies they're gone fromview after a few seconds. The wall charts stay up for everyone to see andto help focus attention.

The degree of experimental detail is usually greater in a thesis.

The variety of species in the animal kingdom notwithstanding, early embryogenesis frequently relies on the same set of molecules. These highly conserved molecules are considered genetic toolkit genes; a set of genes that determines the body plan in various species. For example, the determination of the dorsal-ventral (D/V) axis often relies on bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Studies ...

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