Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Plan for Completion

I spent more time with my PhD supervisor this morning, and we determined the following plan:

The thesis will have five chapters of about 15,000 words each.
The introduction will be about 8,000 words.
There might be a 4,000 word conclusion.

This is my current progress on each of these:

Introduction: Some of this is written as part of an existing chapter draft, but most of it will be written from scratch.
Chapter 1: I will combine two existing pieces for this chapter. I know the argument, which was the core of the paper I presented last week. I can safely say the drafting of this chapter is 2/3 complete with about 9,000 words done.
Chapter 2: No work done on this. Still need to read primary sources.
Chapter 3: 3,000 words complete for a conference paper I did last year that will cover part of the topic.
Chapter 4: 10,000 words complete.
Chapter 5: No work complete. Still need to read some of primary sources.
Conclusion: Nothing, of course.

This is the new timeline:

Article from conference paper drafted by April, 2011
Chapter 2 drafted by August, 2011
Chapter 3 drafted by January, 2012
Chapter 5 drafted by August, 2012
Full draft (and I do mean *draft*) complete by December 2012
Polished thesis complete by December 2013

Easy-Peasy!

6 comments:

Amstr said...

Yay! A plan! I always feel so much better when I have a plan. And your plan looks good. Very good.

I also find the work goes faster when there's an end in sight. That said, I'm having a very slow re-entry into research after the big push in December and the holidays.

Cheers!

Good Enough Woman said...

Master, You may not be surprised to hear that I was thinking of you when I wrote that post! So how does it compare to your plan?

As for your renter, I don't blame you. You must have been so burnt by the push for that book chapter. How long was it? 7500ish? Do you have a good pathway back in?

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Yikes. If my dissertation were that long, I'd still be working on it. You must be in a program that actually cares about their students' dissertations. Mine was pretty much a hoop. Then again, no one expects you (or me, that is) to have a new idea about Shakespeare. Hm. I'm sure that my whole diss was under 50,000 words: three chapters, intro and conclusion.

I guess it also depends on what kind of job you want. I wanted a teaching job, not a R1 job. So I just got 'er done. What kind of job do you want?

Good Enough Woman said...

Fie, I think that in the UK, the 100,000 word thesis (dissertation) is typical. The whole degree is focused more on the thesis itself-- no comps, no orals, little coursework. It's all about the thesis. As for a job? I'll probably just keep the one I have. If, after I'm finished, the university in my town hires a c18 person, or a Brit Lit generalist, I *might* consider applying, but, frankly, I don't think I'd be very competitive even though I have a lot of friends among the faculty there. They get applicants from Yale now. Plus, I can't imagine they'd be able to match the salary that I'll be making by then at my current position. So, as crazy as it sounds, I'm kind of doing the thesis just for my own sake. I'll get a little raise in salary that, over time, will cover the money it cost to do the program. I do hope, perhaps, that the PhD might open some opportunities here or there in the future, but I've got a good CC job, and I'm thankful for it. Reading so many academic blogs makes me realize how thankful I am! BTW, I hope you're feeling better!

C. Troubadour said...

The plan sounds so nice and concrete. Glad you've got it all mapped out and that you've got what look like very manageable steps to get from now till the end of the timeline. Yay, GEW!

loveskidlit said...

Good plan. Very manageable! And I agree: reading academic blogs is heart breaking. I can't imagine being on the market right now (sorry, Fie!).