Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dissertating

Writing a dissertation, at least for me so far, has been a bit disconcerting. I thought that because I had seminar papers for the basis of each of my chapters, that the way would be clear and I would know what to do. I didn't expect it to be easy. I am willing to work hard. But there is a difference between working hard and having no idea what to do. If I knew what to do, I would certainly do it.

The problem seems to be, I don't have any idea how to transform this seminar paper into a dissertation chapter. I am working on Pamela right now, and I have this seminar paper that I am very proud of. Maybe that's a problem. I didn't get a lot of feedback from the professor other than stylistic (I will eventually eliminate passive voice from my writing. I am beginning to wonder if this is somehow a personality indicator?) So, I'm not sure what to do with it. I have made some additions - trying to beef up the theory parts. I actually added about a page and a half of theory stuff to it today, then realized that all of that probably needed to go in the introduction chapter, so I took it back out again. I have been reformating it a bit, added a paragraph that reaffirmed my argument and laid out the direction of the paper. And, still, all I have is 17 pages. I probably need at least 10 more, but I don't know how I am going to get them.

I am tempted to go ahead and give the chapter to my committee, just so I can get some feedback and direction. I feel like I need someone to tell me, "Do this." It probably wouldn't hurt to get in on a writing group, but I'm not sure how to do that either.

I probably need to be reading more theory, but I can't, at this point, see how having another go at reading Judith Butler is going to translate into more pages for my Pamela chapter. I want to be making progress!

1 comment:

Elle said...

Good luck with the drafting! It is definitely slow-going at times!

There is a diss reading group - I'll send you an email in a moment about it.

Enjoy the rest of your break!