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Showing posts from March, 2012

Tell some-one who cares! or Is this really relevant?

Wrote a brilliant methodology chapter, left it to ferment in the laptop for a week while I was: juggling blocked toilets (it's a recurring theme isn't it?); mum in hospital; forgetting to tell my longtime friend and research assistant Susan the alarm code for the house (Oops - that woke up the street!), and then re-read it. That voice in my head was grumpy! and said if this is your contribution to scholarly debate you need to: - avoid repetitive material (I know 'tell-a-story, tell-it again and then tell-it-again is the mantra for persuasive writing but ...) - tame runaway notes (I know enough about Stephen Greenblatt to tell the examiners what he eats for breakfast but do they care?) - quote judiciously (I love a good quote - see previous post) - limit  jargon (is 'morphing' jargon?) I felt better when I read Tanya Golash-Boza's blog and she labelled the first draft 'spew writing.'

Using quotes as 'hooks' in my PhD

'Already I can see you, shapeless as you are now, embodied in my dreams as the finest of all my works.'  Olga Ernst (The Magic Shadow Show, p.18)

Pam and Marnee suggested the exploring the idea of beginning chapters with quotes from Ernst's works that express precisely the chapter focus or lead into the argument. Quotes are useful to because another's language may be so succinct that by comparison, mine may be ineffective. These are my fav quotes about research: The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking. Christopher Morley (I am thinking... thinking some more).I once asked a young dissertation writer whether her suddenly grayed hair was due to ill health or personal tragedy; she answered: “It was the footnotes”. Joanna Russ (I think my hair is greyer despite minimal footnotes. However no one will know - hair dye is a wonderful invention!).It is a laborious madness, and an impoverishing one, the madness of…