Nearly done version 6 of the introduction

2021-08-31

in PhD thesis, Writing

Writing a PhD dissertation in collaboration with my committee is in some ways the hardest thing I have ever done. To begin with, the full draft is by far the longest single document I have ever written – far too long to be able to keep the entire contents in my mind at once, unlike a normal essay where it’s feasible to remember the purpose and general content of every section and paragraph. Naturally, the versions with comments from committee members are just as long.

Integrating those comments while also cutting the document from over 700 pages to at most 300 requires multiple passes and meticulous document tracking to avoid re-introducing problems that had been fixed elsewhere.

At this point, the task is to decide on and sequence the chunks that will make up the final defended dissertation. I’m looking forward a lot to having a draft of the right length and with content that everyone agrees is suitable. Then I can begin the comparatively blissful work of tidying up the language and moving things around for clarity.

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