A blog post to accompany an updated prospectus

Writing direct and clear academic prose can be quite difficult sometimes, ok, most of the time. I’ve had a terrible time adding changes to the prospectus. New content that I’ve tried to add only adds more confusion, rather than the intended (and required) clarity.

Advisor suggested I start with the chapter projections for major changes and updates, and I did. And it was challenging, to say the least. As I transition to thinking of this as a series of research essays that I will write rather than an abstract set of ideas, I’ve had to begin thinking of each chapter as at least somewhat thesis driven. This is, of course, something I should know about. Of course, the next step was to chunk the research questions, which affected the methodology, which… well, you get the idea.

I just sent Advisor the updated draft, and it took much longer than I expected or desired to get it to a “send-able” state. Despite what inexperienced academic writers (sometimes known as undergrads, but not always) would have you believe, churning out a “paper” at 2 a.m. the evening/morning before it’s due is not, in fact, writing (really, I should know, I mastered this practice in the earlier parts of my academic career). Instead, writing is a process, at times grueling and painful, and at times highly rewarding and satisfying. These things are not mutually exclusive.

But it’s always messy at some point. Drafting/revising/drafting/revising is not neat, and often needs to be a mess before anything meaningful can come of it. It would be hyperbole to say that this most recent part of the process was “grueling,” but it was incredibly messy.

Now, we wait and see what happens in the phone date tomorrow!


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