Thursday, December 31, 2009

PhD progress

I have been plodding along with my PhD and I feel like I am starting to build some momentum.  I have had a few weeks off work and been able to work on it full time and I can see the shape beginning to emerge.  I'm not sure if this is how it will look in the end, but it does feel helpful to start to build some structure around my reading and writing.

I had a bit of a panic this week when I realised how much more there is to do.  I have written around 10,000 words, and my final thesis will be around 100,000 words, so there is a long way to go.  Of course, I haven't started data collection yet, and this will form the main part of my thesis. The bit that I am up to is finalise my research proposal and make decisions about all of the details.  Things like which methodology I will use, how do I design the right method, how do I write a literature review that incorporates all of the literature that I have accumulated.  Then I will present to a University panel for Confirmation that I can proceed with the research, and the I need to apply for Ethics approval.   

The literature review is the bit where I felt really stuck - I was surrounded by papers and it was all starting to feel like it's all too hard.   But then I thought, I have been doing this for two years already, and I am not going to throw all of that away.  I need to break it down into smaller chunks, and work on each bit, one at a time.  And later, I will make sure that all the pieces go together properly.

Has anyone else been in this situation before?  Do you have any suggestions that might help me?

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