Thursday, July 3, 2008

First Chapter submitted!!

[Cross posted at Wind Farm]

Yesterday at approximately 6:44 p.m. I submitted my first dissertation chapter! It's a draft, obviously, but it's a completed chapter draft and it is in the hands of Eli, my director. This first submission is my Methodology chapter. Below I'll paste a long excerpt from the beginning to give you a taste.

About three or four weeks ago I had started composing a chapter on my Photo Literacy Logs (PLL). That was before Eli and I had a chance to talk about some things. During the course of our phone conversation we discussed my RSA paper and I told him that I decided to start my writing by building from that. Eli did some hoeing and humming and suggested that I start by describing my data collection process - the methodology - while it was still fresh in my mind. I had just come from the field site and it would be easier to try to write about being in the field sooner rather than later in the writing process. Plus it's an easy way into the writing process. Normally, because I'm a stubborn ass, I don't concede so easily to some of Eli's suggestions. I don't know why. I'm just a stubborn a-hole. J/k.

The strategy we decided to go with was to start with the methodology chapter and then move into writing about the subjects (which I'll start today). We didn't really strategize beyond that point, but my feeling is that writing about the subjects - especially the three "case subjects" - will open up into a discussion of, coding of, analysis of the data. And, if perchance things don't progress this way, from here it won't be so hard to delve into my a chapter (or chapters) on the themes.

Then the structure for the dissertation that is evolving in my mind goes something like this:
Methodology
Subjects
Themes
Application/Theory

At present there is not lit review. At present there are only four chapters. However, the Themes chapter is expected to be pretty long. Double, I imagine, my Methodology chapter (which was 47 double spaced pages).

So that's where I'm at (and you all probably thought I was just making ObamaLlamas! Ha! Yeah right!). I'll leave you with a bit from the Methodology chapter. It's approximately three double spaced pages. [Disclaimer: there are a few things in this intro that I don't particularly like - e.g. the second paragraph that starts with "sterile, scientific presentation" - and such things will be revised; but they're there for a reason; right now that reason is place-holder.]

[The excerpt from this first chapter is posted over at Wind Farm.]

4 comments:

Billie said...

Congrats, Chris! Getting that first chapter done is often the most difficult (or it was for me). Good job!!

liquid distance said...

It seems after all you have a productive relationship with your DOS (director of studies). When I started with the PhD my prejudices about these relationships had me think it was desirable to have a DOS who would remain at the margins. Now I think their work is to make sure your project design is tidy and well rounded, and that the concepts, politics, and steps you follow to complete it should be your own business.

chris said...

Thanks B!

LD, I've always had a good relationship with my director. I just get frustrated sometimes when I'm not the most important person in his life. Like when his pesky wife or family or other priorities get in the way... j/k. When you're in the diss stage and feedback is so important you can get a one-track mind. I like having a hands-on director.

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