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Ways to get your thesis rejected

My committee has agreed to sign off on my thesis. Whew. I have more hoops to jump and homework to do before officially graduating, of course, but it's nice to have gotten the green light. But after a little thought, I realized there were still lots of things I could do that would snarl up the thesis submittal process. Here are a few.

Top 10 Ways I Could Still Screw Up My Thesis

1. Print the whole thing on flamingo-pink card stock. Claim to have misunderstood directions regarding white 25%-cotton bond.

2. Change font every five pages, being sure to include Wingdings and fancy cursive designs that have no way to express numbers or punctuation. Claim to have misunderstood directions regarding consistent and readable typeface.

3. When submitting final copy, ask Graduate Studies: "Oh, one last thing: do I need to put my ghostwriter's name on this?"

4. Use footnotes as space for waxing melancholy about the ephemeral quality of youth. And for writing down coffee cake recipes.

5. Replace all figures with Polaroids of neighbor's cat. Replace all tables and charts with pieces of programming grid clipped from TV Guide.

6. Choose a random page in the middle of the thesis. Take a pen with blood-red ink and scrawl across the text, "It's a trap!! Academia is a trap!! Get out while you still can!!"

7. Put on bright red lipstick and kiss every page.

8. Rather than using traditional Arabic numerals for page numbers, use a numbering system of your own devising, consisting of dots and zodiac-inspired symbols and using base 8. Claim to have misunderstood directions regarding traditional page numbers.

9. Change title to "The Prisoner of Ass-Kaban: A Linguistic Analysis of Metaphor in Descriptions of Underage Sex in Harry Potter Fanfiction," even though this is not topic of thesis.

10. Add to acknowledgements: "...and special thanks to Professor Jameson for all the sex."


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 19th, 2003 09:18 pm (UTC)

There is also:

11. Under the front cover slip a $20 bill and a Post-it note that reads Hope this helps with the "evaluation".

12. Refer to the work of each of the members of your thesis committee as "rudimentary early studies".

May. 20th, 2003 09:37 am (UTC)
Hahaha! Those are great. You've obviously had some dealings with this hoop-jumping... :)
May. 19th, 2003 10:02 pm (UTC)
9. Change title to "The Prisoner of Ass-Kaban: A Linguistic Analysis of Metaphor in Descriptions of Underage Sex in Harry Potter Fanfiction," even though this is not topic of thesis.

oh, LOL!!!!!!!! XD
May. 20th, 2003 09:38 am (UTC)
Hee. That's the porn title my husband & I came up with, long ago, when doing some really unimportant brainstorming.
May. 20th, 2003 02:56 am (UTC)
Number 6 is my favorite. I'm surprised nobody's actually done it...!

Good luck with the thesis!
May. 20th, 2003 09:40 am (UTC)
Re: ROFL!!!
I'm sure someone has. It's just, no one ever reads the dissertations again once they're filed in the library, so we'll never know...;)
May. 20th, 2003 05:32 am (UTC)
Too too funny - the Ass-Kaban comment takes the cake (or candy?), as already noted!

May. 20th, 2003 09:41 am (UTC)
I keep hoping someone will write a HP fanfic with that in the title. What am I talking about...I'm sure someone has...
May. 20th, 2003 05:52 am (UTC)
:: giggles for a good five minutes straight over #9 ::

Yes, these are ways that you *could* screw up your thesis, but as amusing as they are I somehow doubt you'll do any of them. You worked too hard to get this far.

But it IS funny! :D
May. 20th, 2003 09:42 am (UTC)
Thank ye. Indeed, I probably won't pull any of that. But maybe I'll suggest it to the other grads, in the hopes that they do...
May. 20th, 2003 07:46 am (UTC)
Good thing I hadn't had my Dr. Pepper
That would have been a huge spit-take.

Mind if I share this with my hubby?
May. 20th, 2003 09:46 am (UTC)
Re: Good thing I hadn't had my Dr. Pepper
Feel free. Glad there was no computer damage this fine morning.
May. 20th, 2003 08:03 am (UTC)
Definitely the footnotes. In a reallllly tiny font.
May. 20th, 2003 09:48 am (UTC)
Indeed...I'm thinking 6-point...and I'm thinking these should be the kind of footnotes that take up half the page...
May. 20th, 2003 09:05 am (UTC)
11. Draw graphs and figures in crayon.
May. 20th, 2003 09:49 am (UTC)
Ooh, I'd forgotten all the annoying things one could do with crayon...
May. 20th, 2003 09:48 am (UTC)
Ahahahaha. Ass-Kaban?! That's brilliant.

You could also make a one-sentence bibliography with the name of a website, www.freethesispapers.com or something like that. I did that as a joke for an essay I had to write last year. ;)

Good luck finishing!!
May. 21st, 2003 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Hee hee...I like the website idea. Think I'll add that to my list..
May. 20th, 2003 10:37 am (UTC)
actually, you never know...
Granted, this is at the undergrad level, but my little sister drew pirates all over her O-Chem2 final (except the page she answered entirely in Greek) and still managed to not flunk the course...
May. 21st, 2003 06:00 pm (UTC)
Re: actually, you never know...
I admire her nerve. :) Yes, with tests sometimes you can rely on the teacher's sense of humor to get by with such things. Those people who file away the dissertations, though, are no fun at all.
May. 20th, 2003 05:01 pm (UTC)
Teeheehee...#9. It is nice for this old girl to have an Elvis-style giggle fit once in awhile.

Congrats on your thesis.

BTW, one of my darling students wrote a LOTR homoerotic parody comic strip that I'll need to share with you at some point.

May. 21st, 2003 06:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Oooh...same ones who were reading the slash fiction? *has moment of pride for youth of America*
(no subject) - dirae - May. 21st, 2003 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 21st, 2003 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 21st, 2003 01:03 am (UTC)
Well I'm glad things are starting to work out for you! I'm definitely keeping your list around for when I have to write MY thesis paper. I especially liked #10. Scandal in the halls of academia!
May. 21st, 2003 06:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay!
Yes...you'll want to keep those handy tips nearby. :)
Needless to say, I do not have a "Professor Jameson." Didn't think it was a good idea to use an actual prof's name, even as a joke, in such a context. Heh.
May. 22nd, 2003 08:00 pm (UTC)
That was awesome. I still have another two years before I have to do mine...I might try something like what you suggested. Or not.

Do you mind if I add you as a friend?
May. 22nd, 2003 09:20 pm (UTC)
Of course I don't mind! You're practically famous on LJ - to me, at least - moderator of lordoftherings and all that. If you can stand my strange idiosyncracies, you're more than welcome. :)

Do you know yet what your project will be about? (Two years beforehand, I don't expect specifics, but the general area of discipline...)
(no subject) - arien - May. 23rd, 2003 06:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 24th, 2003 10:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 16th, 2003 02:15 am (UTC)

1)You are too damn effortlessly funny. Stop, you make us look bad.

2)I think I shall make it a goal to try each and every one of these things to see what happens.
Jun. 16th, 2003 04:49 pm (UTC)
Hey, thanks, you're too kind. :)

Good luck getting away with those. You will make yourself famous in the halls of academia and I will have a special respect for you.
Jun. 27th, 2003 09:02 pm (UTC)
Hi, found you via lush_rimbaud, and find your entries amusing. Would you mind if I friended you? (You wouldn't have to friend me back if you'd rather not, considering that my journal isn't particularly interesting.)
Jun. 28th, 2003 03:50 pm (UTC)
Go right ahead! Welcome. :) Been wondering how Lydia's been doing lately. Busy at West Point, I suppose...
(no subject) - ldmoonflower - Jun. 29th, 2003 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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