Saturday, November 2, 2013

I'm reading the Ph.D. dissertation of a young woman, who received her degree from a Virginia university of little renown. GOD IT IS HORRIBLE! It is like reading a gushing diary full of adjectives chosen at random from a thesaurus, not a serious academic work.

The author repeatedly invokes "Professor X" or "the distinguished Doctor Y" or "the eminent Professor Smith, Ph.D." -- as if somehow that is going to impress the reader, rather than just piss them off at the shit-poor suck-up job.

If my hair were any longer, I'd be able to grip it and tear it out in agony.

So what is this thesis about? It's about the erection of a monument near Washington, D.C. The author pretends to review the theoretical literature regarding memorials and monuments, and then discusses many, many, many theories -- nearly all of them in just a sentence or two, or a small quotation. None of the theories are discussed in depth, nor is there any analysis of their assumptions, limitations, or purposes. She never presents her own synthesis or theory, and fails to say just how her study is going to test or apply one of these many, many theories she has just written about.

She then says she will discuss the history of the memorial's genesis, but her timeline is screwed up, she glosses over items of real importance, she assigns intention where there is no evidence to support her assertion, and she gives equal importance to major documents and two-paragraph "letters to the editor".

She uses the APA citation style, which is all right, I guess. But she forgets to include author names half the time!!! So all you get is a sentence that reads "...the artist was given free reign to design the monument as he saw fit (15)." I'm appalled.

THREE Ph.D.s approved this piece of trash!!!!!!!!!!

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