Ulisses Sawczuk Discussed How to Write Thesis Proposals
With the goal of providing master’s students with insights and tips on how to write their thesis proposals, Wittenborg copywriter Ulisses Sawczuk participated as a guest lecturer in an online session conducted by Erasmus University Rotterdam associate professors Dr Isabel Awad and Dr Delia Dumitrica.
The masterclass, which took place on 13 January, was attended by 10 students pursuing degrees in Media, Culture and Society (MCS) at Erasmus University. Apart from Sawczuk, who completed the programme in 2019, the activity also featured MCS alumni Mariana Fried (2019) and Sara Lambrechts (2021) as guest lecturers. The three of them graduated cum laude.
During the activity, Sawczuk and the other graduates discussed the process of writing thesis proposals and the subsequent master's theses. Among other topics, students asked questions regarding the relationship with supervisors, methodological choices, how to use literature, time management and how to reconcile studies and personal life.
Sawczuk, who is Brazilian, wrote his thesis on an internet meme that was highly popular during the country’s 2018 presidential elections, and which depicted the Barbie doll as a conservative voter, parodying prejudiced discourses on class, ethnicity and gender. While conducting his research, he analysed 45 posts that had been published by an Instagram account created with the purpose of disseminating that meme.
“Students often see the thesis as a ‘monster’, but if they think of it as a series of smaller tasks that need to be done gradually, this will help them make a plan and approach it with more confidence. I also encouraged them to establish a study routine and to give themselves little rewards every time they achieve an important goal, so that they keep their motivation high,” Sawczuk said.
Erasmus University associate professor Dr Isabel Awad, from the Media & Communication Department, highlighted that, prior to the session, the students had read and analysed the three alumni’s proposals, which covered different topics and methodologies. “Having the opportunity to hear from Ulisses and from the authors of the other proposals further enriched the students’ learning experience, as well as their confidence to produce a proposal, and later a thesis, of their own. Students really appreciated being able to talk to people who have recently gone through the process, and who generously shared their experiences, tips and understanding,” she added.
by James Wittenborg