Grad School Problems

I took the past week off from writing here to work on a thesis for a Master of Arts in Homeland Security. The week has been interesting. I’ve been writing non-stop fiction/short-stories for most of the last eighteen months (either on my own or as part of the Master of Arts in Writing program at Johns Hopkins University) and I’ve discovered that making the switch from scholarly writing to fiction was a hell of a lot easier than reverting back to the world of properly citing peer-reviewed resources.

Before I go further, I would like to add a disclaimer here: No…I don’t know why I thought working on two graduate degrees at different universities at the same time was a good idea. Really…no clue. I don’t advise attempting this. It really wasn’t a well thought out plan.

Anyway…From Monday to Wednesday, I worked on the Statement of the Problem and Research Question portions of the thesis. On Thursday, I got up, shot-gunned four cups of piping hot Pike’s Place Roast (special thanks to Starbucks…saving grad students since 1971), and re-read my first few pages. The research question seemed to be okay (not good or great…just ho-hum), but the rest of the paper read like a short-story that just happened to have in-text citations.

I re-wrote that section three times and each iteration still reads like a short story. In the end, I submitted what I had and thanked God, Zeus, and The Great Pumpkin that it’s only 1% of the final grade.

Anyone else have trouble switching between your creative writing style and the style required for school or work?


  1. I noticed this when I went back to finish my undergrad degree. Transitioning from my usual creative writing style to an academic style was quite the jolt. Hopefully, when I go back for my graduate degree, it’ll be better.

    Liked by 1 person

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