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Thread: Thesis ideas..

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Nov 2004
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    Calgary, AB, Canada.
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    Thesis ideas..

    I am currently taking a thesis prep. class in which we need to put together a brief summary of what we wish to complete our thesis on. Aside from knowing where my interest lay I am struggling with how to put them all together into a coherent theme. So, I am turing to Cyburbia for assistance. On with the interests: I have always been interested in 'neighbourhood' and the people who live in and value them. I am also interested in how these individuals become attached to this space and how this could influence professional planning practice. Finally I have always had a underlying interest in the environment and sustainability, which I think could possibly fit with the neighbourhood theme....

    So my question to you all, is how do I tie these all together, neighbourhoods, sense of place, professional planning practice, and the environmental sustainability. The topic doesnt need to cover all of these bases.. but I thought that I would put them down anyways.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Mar 2006
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    Machesney Park, IL
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    I think the #1 hardest thing about graduate school is deciding on a thesis topic. I changed mine 3 times, before settling on what I am finally focusing on now. My problem was, I'd come up with what I felt was a great topic, but then have trouble finding enough relevant literature for the literature review. I suggest looking up studies and things that have already been done that interest you, pertaining to different geographical areas, and when you find one that could work apply it to a different geographical area. Then you know the information is definitely out there for you to get the job done. At least when I was in school, we were told it is okay to use a methodology somebody else came up with, as long as it is cited properly and applied to a different geographical area.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Calgary, AB, Canada.
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    Thanks for the information. Haha, I agree that this is definately the most difficult thing about graduate school, that and finding the time to actually accomplish things.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    I completed my thesis last year- so i feel your pain. We spent a semester in a prep. class, learning about how to write a thesis and topics etc.

    We were never given any topics specifically, but as a part of the class, we had to find an article in a journal on a topic we were interested in and propose a thesis on it. In saying that, we had to write the purpose of the study and what it will result in and our study methods. I actually found this rather hard, because it felt a complete waste of time, cause i still didnt know what i wanted to do.

    I ended up talking to the lecturer- who ended up being my advisor and we sat down and just went through what topics i was interested in and what ideas i had. I decided i wanted to do a thesis on photography and planning, but i also had a keen interest in community- and from this i ended up with the idea of researching the marketing of community in master planned estates (looking at images in the marketing pretty much)- so its all about an evolution of an idea.

    Trust me, not many people come up with the perfect idea first but, it needs a lot of work and refinement and research- the more research you do, the more the possibility you will fine a gap in the literature that needs filling or refining!

    If you have any qns just PM me- im happy to help!
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  5. #5
    Hi,

    I also struggled in coming up with my thesis topic while I was in school. What I did was I knew that I wanted to examine big box retailers, such as Wal-Mart, for my thesis. However, during my literature review, I felt that big box retailers became "tired" thesis topics, as there have been many theses on them. As I continued to read about big box retailers, I found out that an evolutionary form of retailing became to emerge: Urban Entertainment Centres. So, I switched my focus from big box retailers to urban entertainment centres.

    So, my suggestion is to read literature related to your interests. Eventually, there may be things that may help you to come up with a thesis topic for you.

    Good luck to you, and feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2006
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    Niskayuna, New York
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    2

    one possibility

    When I did my thesis my advisor insisted in giving him the question to which my thesis will be the answer. So, find a question that will need an answer in the range of the topics that interest you the most. The question has to be as specific as possible because the answer you give has to be very comprehensive, which in my world means very detailed and complete, if that is possible. One question usually raises many other “sub-questions” and in order to answer to the main question you will have to answer to many others and establish degrees of separation.
    Sometimes it is easier to go backwards, look at two or three (but no more than that) neighborhoods that you are most interested in and try to compare and contrast them to the bones, and see what made them the way that they are. Look at as many aspects as you can. In planning ALL things are related. Good luck!

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