Thursday, November 13, 2008


Remember Sisyphus? Well, things are actually moving along now.

I finally have enough material written on my proposal that it made sense to put in a table of contents. I had a total of 21 pages two days ago. Today, I have 24 pages, and I'm feeling good.*

It's not so much the number of pages that makes me feel good, but that I've broken through a major research block that Adviser put up for me. On the one hand, I understood what Adviser was saying and agreed; on the other hand, I kept feeling like I have a case too with my (different) approach.

After about 6 weeks of going back and forth between methodologies, I finally read enough, thought through enough, argued with myself enough to feel solid about my approach. What is neat is that given all of my back-and-forth, my approach now not only makes sense, it is philosophically congruent and I can articulate it well.**

I've also stopped meeting Adviser weekly for 4 weeks now. That helped to allow my ideas to "brew" without me having to meet Adviser and get confused each time I did.

I had consistently set goals for myself to finish since September, but failed to meet them. Now that I have pushed through my block, I feel like I can really complete my proposal by this weekend. And I have the pages to show for it. Whether or not Adviser will be happy with it is another story, for another post.

For the record, I really like my Adviser. I think having a tougher adviser will end up making me a much stronger scholar. And Adviser is generally very supportive, so long as I can defend my position well.


*MS Word has a great table of contents feature that is automatically updateable.
**For anyone interested, my methodological struggle was between using Analytic Induction or Grounded Theory. Grounded Theory won, that is, the constructivist version of GT (reference: Kathy Charmaz).


Scholar Wannabe said...

Hurrah for progress!!!

And what is this table of contents feature of which you speak?!?

Lonely Dissertator said...

I thought you might ask. First, you need to "format" the "style" of all your headings and sub-headings according to H1, H2, H3 etc. Then, where you want your table of contents to be, you "Insert"--> "Index & Tables" --> Table of Contents. And viola, Table of Contents! If you don't want to include the TOC, then just don't use a "heading style" on it.

Lonely Dissertator said...

One more: to update your TOC, simply right click on it and choose update. When I said above if you don't want to include the TOC, I meant, if you don't want "Table of Contents" to be listed in your table of contents. I'm exhausted. Am I making sense?