A very wonderful Valentine's Day to you all! I am celebrating… handing in a chapter!

sea turtle yay!

For context: my dissertation has several required chapters — the Introduction and Conclusion, of course. A Literature Review, which is required to show that I've done the research on the subject I'm writing on, and nobody's covered precisely it, though here are all the books, articles, etc. which are either close, or inspired me. A Methodology chapter which describes the research methodology I'll be using to collect and examine my data… and there has to be a chapter on the research itself.

Right now I have a very rough draft of the Introduction and the Methodology chapters — with a little polishing they should soon be ready to roll. The Lit Review, however, needs a ton more work! Right now it consists mostly of a few books I knew would be relevant, and a lot of possible titles. Also, the Conclusion itself needs to be written, since I couldn't even start on it before the research was complete.

As I've mentioned in my previous posting, my initial research consisted of interviews, and in an effort to be as true to my study participants as I could be, the chapter ended up being huge and unwieldy. However, despite my trepidation, I have finally successfully edited down all the families to 12 or 14 pages — woo! Plus I wrote an introduction which explained how the interviews for the various families were reached, and a conclusion which (predictably) restates the intro.* Then I polished it all up, and sent it off to my ever-patient Committee Chair. Yippeeee!

tongue-out Juniper the fox

I'm so pleased! This is the most difficult chapter to write, so I'm quite happy that I have a good working first draft in place. Hopefully by next week I'll have feedback and can polish it up some more, and then set that chapter aside as finished, yay! What that means next is that I can then do a bit of refresher re-reading, and have the fun of writing the Conclusion! That should be enjoyable — and after that there's only polishing the Intro and Methodology, and then sorting out and editing the Lit Review.

Of course, this is a very breezy overhead view of the actual work in progress — I don't doubt there will be a lot of issues to be dealt with, which I don't see right now. Nevertheless, today I intend to celebrate exuberantly — because not only can I see the light at the end of the tunnel now… but I'm also positive it is NOT an onrushing train!

* The introduction and conclusion mentioned in the above sentence are just for the research chapter. The dissertation's Introduction and Conclusion are very different animals. Just sayin'!

In closing: wishing you all a wonderful weekend surrounded by those you love!

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