Isabel Jewell

Isabel Jewell

Name: Isabel Jewell


MLCS Honors in Slavic Languages (Polish and Ukrainian)

What spurred you on to be an Honors student in the department?

The thing that caused me to accept the invitation to become an Honors student was the opportunity to have my thesis published at the U of A. To me, this seemed like a very unique opportunity, and even though I had already had one of my works published before, I generally enjoy writing, and so I was eager to be able to do more research, especially on a topic of my choice.

What is the best thing about being an Honors student in the department of MLCS?

I believe that the two of the best things about being an Honors student are: support and recognition. Being an Honors student means having more support from your supervisor and the Honors Coordinator. Also, being an Honors student means that you receive more recognition for your work and it is evaluated more seriously.

Tell us about a topic you are excited to do research about (e.g., your current Honors Thesis)

For my Honors thesis I chose to write about the experience of Polish immigrants in Canada as presented in a recent collection of Polish-Canadian short stories. I also discussed cultural identity, the diaspora, and belonging.

Any (survival) tip(s) you would like to share with fresh MLCS Honors students?

My general advice would be to stay focused and determined; being a student is not easy, and it is the same with being an Honors student. The best thing is to make a plan and stick to it.

  1. Choose a topic for your thesis as soon as possible! Even if you have a rough idea of something in your head, when you actually need to start writing you must know what you want to discuss specifically. Choosing a research question and topic is more time-consuming than you think, so take the time consider possibilities and figure that out from the get-go.
  2. Make an outline and schedule about how and when you’re going to get it done. Time is limited and will slip away. Make a reasonable plan on how to structure your essay and when you can, get in some words. For example, write one part of the essay each weekend.
  3. Choose an approachable and friendly supervisor. Choose someone you know you could work with -- preferably someone who has graded your work before and supports you.
  4. Decide how you are going to find sources. Go to the library or contact professors who would have recommendations for sources.
  5. When you feel like the world is falling down on you, remember that you’re not alone. Ask a friend or family member or instructor to talk with you about your ideas when you feel stuck or discouraged. Watch cute animal videos on YouTube when you need a break.
  6. Have someone proofread your paper.

The first thing you plan do after graduating.

During university I always have moments imagining what I would do if I had 15 minutes of free time, or what I would do if I had a couple hours of free time, or -- even better -- what if I had graduated and was free of exams, essays, and presentations? After graduating (June 2021), I will be doing my MA at the U of T, but that’s in September. Until then, I will do digital art on my iPad, take long walks with my sister, organize my space, spend time with my family, play chess, and sleep, sleep, sleep.