Dissertation Writing

So, I’ve spent the past month¬† working on my dissertation proposal. Typically, I spend around 3 hours a morning working on it about 5 days a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Depends on how the morning goes or how distracted I get.

You know, starting after breakfast at 9:30. Have the blinds closed, document open and at the ready, and then the next thing I know I’m on Wikipedia reading about the history of Kyrgyzstan¬† or watching Stephen Colbert on YouTube.

One thing I’ve learned: writing a dissertation proposal is hard work. It’s not something I would have suspected when I first started, but by God is planning more difficult than writing.

Up to this point, the number of times I’ve planned how to structure and write a paper in advance has been, well, never. Usually when writing, I start writing and see where it takes me. That doesn’t mean it’s aimless. I can see destinations it needs to reach, but I’m never sure about how to link them until I get it down in writing.

Working on a document whose sole purpose is to plan, plot and structure my upcoming dissertation honestly feels like more work than writing the actual dissertation will be. I suppose that’s a good thing, since it lets me figure out exactly what I’ll be writing about. But still…

It’s remarkable how counter-intuitive the process of planning feels. How contrary to my normal work ethic it is.

On the bright side, my final paper doesn’t have to strictly adhere to the proposal; rather, the proposal is more symbolic than anything else, as it shows I have the ability to plan out a massive paper, whether that paper looks like the proposal or not.


By alexander

Drinker of bad wine and writer of many things. Alexander used to be in web development. Now he writes and edits and dabbles in SEO. He has a master's degree and is slowly trying to complete his PhD. One day you will refer to him as Doctor. One day...