Monday, December 01, 2008

The art of the thesis

More coming later today--including snaps from our trip West, North, and steep--but in the meantime:

My students get fed up with my incessant harping on the value of constructing an interpretive / argumentative thesis (e.g, "I will argue, based on the following evidence, that this-or-that is true..."). But, despite the tiresome redundancy with which I make the suggestion, I continue to believe in its validity--if you can render down the point, what my adviser the great J. Peter Burkholder called the "So What?" and "Who Cares?" questions, into a single statement--even if that statement shifts as your understanding shifts--then you have a prayer of remembering the point you were trying to make when you first came up with the idea.

Hence this: the logical follow-through to the essentiality of the thesis:

the Dissertation-as-Haiku site.

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