Office. Work.
Students show up and ask me to be their undergraduate exam advisor, which I willingly agree. I love this aspect of my work. They have to write a research paper and during this process I can work closer with them than while they write their normal term paper in my seminars. Help them to shape their ideas, to set up the outline, to give the whole thing a structure, to line up their arguments, to polish their writing style. And most importantly to balance between academic writing and catching and keeping up your reader’s attention.
However, I wish they would invest more effort in choosing an interesting topic for their research paper, but no, they are not open for experiments and therefore pick very bog-standard topics – despite my plea. Topics that have been widely discussed in academia years ago and I am examining for semesters by now. At least this reduces my work load because I do not need to be familiarized with the research to date (in fact I know all the articles and books they need to read by heart), but still. A new topic would be suspenseful – not only for me, but for them as well. Otherwise they eventually come to the frustrating point that they are just reinventing the wheel.
Told ‘ya. Nonetheless, this might be an important lesson for their graduate thesis. Take some effort in picking a topic.