Chopping block time

I’ve just finished my last paragraph of my dissertation. It means that the most difficult thinking is over. I am now up to editing, which essentially involves finding ways to delete a quarter of what I have written. Hopefully, that means the best work remains.



  1. Mo says:

    Instead of “still 3000 to go” you should think “still 2 weeks to go”. By that rate, you’ll be done by Sunday! You really are a ‘J’. 🙂

  2. joanium says:

    I am ‘J’ with a capital ‘J’, Mo.

    1700 words to go, 1700 words to go.

    I really should put in an executive summary. The goodwill from the examiners would be worth it (‘Thank god! I don’t have to slog through 15000 words to get the point!’). But I don’t want to cut more words to fit it in.

  3. joanium says:

    It’s sensible to have one but they didn’t tell us to do it. They haven’t given us any guidelines about structure, probably assuming we could work it out ourselves.

    It has been surprisingly difficult to work out a structure. Like, how much of the background material (motivations for research) should I go over before I introduce my methods? Does it make sense to put my recommendations in the same chapter as my analysis, or should I have a separate chapter? Do limitations go at the front with methods or at the end with conclusions? These questions weren’t ones that I thought I’d have trouble with.

    Well, I’ve finished the word cull. Towards the end, it was getting truly painful. In the past, word cutting exercises were satisfying because I could see the work get more precise and purposeful. At the end of this time, though, each word I cut degraded the quality. The fluff was deleted early and only substance remained to be amputated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *