07 December 2010

Dissertation Update #3: Drafted


Okay, well, finished the first rough draft of the full thesis. I found fourth gear in November that got me through Chapter 4. Then I found fifth gear. I wrote Chapter 5 (55 pages) in nine days, and two of those days were spent wrestling with the outline without really productively typing.  I wrote Chapter 6 (15 pages) in two days. Here's the statistics (Page = double-spaced, Times New Roman, standard margins, etc.).

Page Counts:
  1. Chapter 1 (introduction)
    1. 38
  2. Chapter 2 (pre-history)
    1. 28
  3. Chapter 3 (Solandt)
    1. 166
  4. Chapter 4 (Zimmerman)
    1. 89
  5. Chapter 5 (Uffen and L'Heureux)
    1. 55
  6. Chapter 6 (Epilogue)
    1. 15
  7. Totals
    1. 391
This is immensely satisfying to finally have the full story told. The past few weeks have felt fantastic as I realised that I was going to meet my goal of having a full draft done before the end of the term. I'll try to blog at some point in the near future about the necessary and sufficient (and the unnecessary and insufficient) conditions for completing a dissertation quickly.

I'll spend this evening watching the hockey game to celebrate this fine achievement, and then tomorrow I'll be right back at the library working. I have a series of tasks that I would like to complete, the first (and so far only) one is to come up with a to-do list of things I need to do. A few of them, mostly formatting, I would like to accomplish before printing for my supervisor. A few of the tasks I think I can take on while my supervisor is reading the draft; things like tracking down raw statistics, or finally reviewing the Uffen Fonds at Queen's University.

Once I've done my make-work projects and my supervisor has finished reading, then it's time for revisions (e.g. 166 pages does not a chapter make). When we're happy with it, then the rest of my committee gets to read it, and then it's time for another round of editing. After all that I get to submit my final draft to the committee and external examiner eight weeks before defending. The optimistic estimate for defence is the middle of April; the pessimistic estimate is end of August. The realistic estimate is probably somewhere between the two.

Oh and for those interested, I'll try to blog in the near future about the content of the last two chapters. It is, afterall, the thrilling conclusion.

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