So today I sent a mostly completed chapter to my advisers!
I wrote the methods chapter first because that comes easiest to me, and the data is already collected so I could spend a lot of time talking about how that was done and describing the relevant measures. Plus, I could use large snippets from my dissertation proposal.
It took longer than I expected, and not just because I procrastinated (which I did). There was a section that was actually difficult and tedious to write – a 5-page section in which I described my data collection method and the historical uses of it. There’s actually a second section that I have to write about that – concerning latent variable analysis – but I have very little idea of how to do that yet so I left it aside for a bit later in the process. I anticipate that that will take even later than the section on the first method. Ugh! Also my data analysis section is incomplete because duh, I haven’t done the analyses yet. Haha.
Currently the section is 14 pages long without the references, and when I add the section on latent variable analysis and write/review my data analysis section, I imagine that it will be about 20 pages. I think if I really think about it, including procrastination periods but counting from when I really started, it took me about 3 weeks to write the rough (and about 80% finished) draft I have now. I didn’t really work much on the weekends. I’d say on a good day I banged out 5 pages; on bad days (or days when I was writing that tedious section!) I could eke out a page or sometimes a few paragraphs within a writing section.
EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS. The paper is made up of paragraphs, after all.
My next steps are to actually get through with the analysis and read all of the damn library books I have on the analysis method I am about to use (which I have never used before, and am learning somewhat from scratch, yay D:). I’m also starting in on the literature review, which I’m looking forward to writing because I figure I’ll actually get a better look into all those books I read (or “read”) for my oral exams. They’re sitting in the tiny bookcase I have in my desk. I need a bigger bookcase, really.