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Partner Sarah Marmor’s reflections on writing her senior year thesis at Princeton University were included in the Princeton Alumni Weekly feature, “The Thesis Challenge: Looking Back at a Capstone Experience.” Ms. Marmor, a 1987 graduate of Princeton, joined her fellow alumni from class years ranging from 1955 to 2018 and provided advice for the next generation of thesis writers.
Alumni who accepted the Princeton Alumni Weekly’s thesis challenge re-read their theses and shared their thoughts. According to the publication’s editorial staff, “the experience sparked a range of emotions, mostly positive save for a few cringes over typos or pretentious vocabulary. The feeling from readers was that their theses held up pretty well, or at least better than expected.”
Ms. Marmor stated, “I was surprised that I could write an entire chapter in French — I couldn’t do that today. The main reaction I have reading it, and it’s been the same every time, is that I’m slightly horrified by some of the words I used, like ‘synecdoche.’ Today as a lawyer, I’m not shy about using complicated words if they’re the right words. But I prize clarity of expression over highfalutin-ness of expression.”
“The biggest thing is not to treat writing your thesis like a chore — treat it like a gift,” said Ms. Marmor, a comparative literature major who wrote about Joseph Conrad, Albert Camus, and E.M. Forster in her thesis, The Exotic-Colonial Adventure: Three Views of the East. “It’s a gift in life to be able to find something that interests you and spend months just toiling at it.”