The Importance of Limits

I am not doing a thesis. It feels sometimes like I'm the only one in class who isn't, because it seems that most people have great, well thought out, clear research projects, unlike me. I never realized how difficult it would be to come up with a research project completely on my own, which is what I'm having to do for this SSHRC proposal. Without a pre-planned project, this mock proposal is essentially an exercise in imagination: what I would do research on, if I had the desire to do a thesis. Because I have no foundation of already-done research or a plan for a future SSHRC proposal, it's been difficult to rein in my interests into one potential research project, seeing as I am not constrained by research guidelines or course material. At the beginning I thought it would be awesome, to do whatever research project I wanted. But when you have unlimited space to work in, it gets difficult to find that one small thing you want to focus on.
This process gets even more difficult as the research process begins, because (as I mentioned previously) I have a tendency to get of track with my research - whatever catches my eye, I have a need to follow, sometimes until the original topic of my project is almost forgotten. Without a clear idea of what I'm researching, or at least with an idea that's very malleable and up to my own discretion, any source I find that is only halfway related to my topic but nonethless seems interesting, I will follow. I guess this project will be, for me, an exercise in self-discipline, as I force myself to finally focus on one thing and follow one track to the end.

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