Alright, so that number is a tiny bit arbitrary, since I have no clue yet if I can expect to submit the bound dissertation on July 15, 2019. However, assuming I want to apply for my PhD at the end of the lecture-period of the Summer Semester of 2019, that would be the day.
Pat Thomson from patter has a “Starting the PhD” series that I’ve been following since I knew I wanted to earn a PhD- before I was even done with the MA thesis. Now, whenever she posts something, I’m even more interested in her advice. Today, I am going to follow up on her most recent piece (of advice): write and write regularly.
Now, the “Day One” at the top of this post isn’t really true. I’ve actually been working on the PhD in some form for more than a year. Development of the project already started in May 2015 and became more and more supported with research through Fall 2015 and then again in Summer 2016, while I worked to be admitted into a PhD program. Now, however, it’s time to get out of the development stage. I’ve got the abstract, working bibliography, and abstract. I’ve got a working outline and a time-plan. Now it’s time to start writing.
So today is Day One. It’s the day where I commit to one post a day about my PhD research or something strongly related. Today, I will spend more time preparing this series of blogging than actually fulfilling the goals of this objective, but I need to start somewhere and I’m someone who likes to set-up some guidelines of how to go about doing something for herself. Then I will write.
First of all, all my posts will need to be seen with a disclaimer and a copyright.
Disclaimer: this series is a collection of brainstorms and free-writes that are a part of my planning for actual text in my dissertation. Therefore, I am giving myself the liberty to make mistakes, make assumptions (call me out on offensive ones, though!), not tie up loose ends, and generally not make any sense.
Copyright: because these writings are planning for actual text in my dissertation, some of this will appear in my dissertation. I hold the right to the words in this post and require that interested parties ask for permission before copying the words or ideas too closely. Obviously, the date of posting is the date of copyright and I reserve the right to challenge suspected plagiarism in my future dissertation submission using these blogs as proof of originality.
With that in mind, I will try to always cite my sources so that I can claim originality with a clear conscience.
Woo. With that rather legal talk out of the way, some guidelines for the content of my posts pretty much follow what patter puts out in her blog post:
writing about something that puzzles [me], writing about how a particular reading relates to [my] topic, responding to a small quotation – writing about what it made [me] think about, exploring a particular possible idea for a research design, developing an argument about an aspect of [my] research – the choice of method for example, writing about why it is a good choice and/or why it might not be, writing about a talk that [I’ve] heard, recording a research related conversation [I’ve] had with a peer, thinking/writing about what [I] might want to talk to [my] supervisor about, experimenting with different writing ‘voices’ and styles, trying out draft paragraphs, introductions, abstracts, writing descriptive pieces, where [I] work on the ways in which [I] might provide rich detail about [my] work, practising how to incorporate dialogue into an argumentative text, writing to learn to craft anecdotes and vignettes.
I think that these suggestions give me a lot of possibilities to fill the next 1000+ days. Because I am doing my PhD under individual sponsorship- no program, I will need as many routines and structures I can build for myself to get through this. From experience, 1000 days seem like a lot, but they really aren’t for a large-scale research project. Deadlines will still arrive too quickly. At the same time, I could probably get most of my writing done in six months. The issue will be to stay committed to writing about the research and the thinking so that I can practice writing and be able to write something in six months.