Thank you, Dr. Shinko for being such a supportive mentor, and I appreciate all of your guidance in my research process. Your feedback was extremely valuable, and your advice was crucial in helping me through my research journey.
On May 7, 2018, I had my final thirty-minute mentor meeting with Dr. Shinko to wrap up the year, ask for some advice on my final research paper, and thank her for her mentorship throughout the semester.
I started the meeting by asking the best way to establish burden-sharing discourse in my paper, and Dr. Shinko recommended citing 3-4 major sources which illustrate the discourse. I expressed worries about my methodology section in describing my methodological approach, and Dr. Shinko advised me to include the specifics of the database I used and keywords I searched. She explained that while neopositivist researchers must justify their case choices, my methodology section, as an interpretivist researcher, must include why my approach is trustworthy and provided enough exposure.
In addition to struggling to establish the discourse I analyzed, I also sought advice on how to establish the dominant discourse. There are two components to dominancy, explained Dr. Shinko, the power of the countries involved in the discourse and the frequency of an actor’s use of the discourse. Dr. Shinko encouraged me to look at who is driving the policy and which countries voted for the quota system. To explain the dominant discourse, I will need to answer why a specific state is a discourse leader in terms of the policy, what makes these actors dominant, and what are the markers of dominancy within the discourse.
When I asked her what to include in my conclusion, Dr. Shinko responded that I should look at interesting questions I did not have time to answer during my research, lessons I learned, where my research should go next, further implications, and overall methodological limitations. Additionally, I asked Dr. Shinko for advice on how to make sure my writing and paper flow, and she suggested making sure that the last sentence of my previous paragraph foreshadows the idea of the next paragraph. She compared writing a paper like taking someone by the hand and being careful not to drop their hand throughout the way. I aim to make these changes as I finish writing my final paper and submit it. I am grateful for all of Dr. Shinko’s help, and I will incorporate her recommendations in my final paper.