Writing

A complete dissertation manuscript in LaTeX format is done and in the hands of my committee. Now, I should get comments from a professor within the department but outside my committee (internal external) and a political scientist from a different university (external external). Once I address their comments, we can move to the dissertation defence, […]

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Despite still not being at 100% physically or mentally, I am working through a four-step process for getting through all dissertation-related to-do lists, including emails to self, project tracking spreadsheets, and tasks written on physical notecards: Is there anything essential to successfully defending the dissertation still unfinished? Create final MS Word version for the LaTeX […]

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This weekend I have been working through a complete draft of my dissertation, with two tasks in mind. Now that the big pieces are in place, I can work on making sure the whole thing is as well-written as possible and flows smoothly. Also, I am incorporating comments from my third committee member on chapters […]

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1. Look for square brackets and underscores inside footnotes (2022-07-28)

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I haven’t done much of anything lately, aside from the bare necessities of life, other than work toward a version of my dissertation that will be ready for the external examiners. It has been very hard for me not to have final control over the document, which I have had in every other context since […]

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I am still fighting toward a complete draft of my dissertation, to go to the external examiners by the end of the month. The three central chapters — political opportunity, mobilizing structures, and repertoires — have gone to my 3rd committee member, but the other two don’t want to share his comments until we have […]

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Readers expect to be argued with, and persuaded by. They don’t want to be told, repeatedly, what they already know, and they’re rarely tolerant of being lectured at. Writing happens among; writing is an exchange. I’ll go further with this point, so bear with me. Readers aren’t just people out there who buy, borrow, or […]

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Most of what academics write is intended to persuade other academics of something. That’s true for essayists, too. James Baldwin, when asked if writing an essay was easier than writing a novel, replied, “An essay is essentially an argument. The writer’s point of view in an essay is always absolutely clear. The writer is trying […]

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Identifiable skills, practical techniques, working notes, instinct, gut feeling, hunches. Though they may sound like an unlikely troupe of players, when you write and revise you call on all of them. But no tool for working your way into a draft is more important than just reading it as carefully as your ears will let […]

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This is the do-or-die month for the dissertation. Either I will get a full manuscript to the internal external examiner in the next 30 days or the school of graduate studies will kick me out for taking too long.

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