Countdown to final draft - Last month of writing-up.


======= Date Modified 04 32 2010 18:32:49 =======
Wooooo hoooooo!!!!!!!!!! That time has come and the end is near.

I thought I'd be excited at this point, but am torn between the dread of having to know what I will do after, excitement that's its nearly done and nerves that the viva is looming if i hand in and i will finally be made to talk about my work.

That said.. i have a month to do all the corrections, which aren't much (11 in total), but footnotes and bibliography are yet to be completed. Therefore i should not underestimate the hard work that lies ahead.

I feel as though i should be working 12 hours days as I had planned but my plans never work out in reality. Therefore I will just stick to aiming to get something done each day. That way the task is less daunting and I feel less overwhelmed by it.

I also don't have money to pay if i have to resubmit so its really important I aim for NO corrections! :-O Yes we can!!!! And worst case scenario end up with minor corrections.

Strangely enough, I still feel like an impositor. Despite my supervisor saying my work is of PhD standard I feel as though it's rubbish. I need to get over this way of thinking. However, this way of thinking may work in my favour and help me 'perfect' the draft.

Well.. the reason for this thread is to hold me accountable to doing something each day and to give you an opportunity to nudge me in the right direction when am slacking.

I will be giving details on what am doing each day.



======= Date Modified 04 Aug 2010 14:18:24 =======
Strategy for Day 1:

* Leave the house and spend day in the library. That will help me get into the zone, even if i get nothing done.
* Think positively - ofcourse I will pass. sigh..
* Do something.

To-do list: Start addressing supervisor's comments and be done with them by Day 7.


Achievements so far:

1) I am working from the library. :-)
2) Thinking positively.
3) I have managed some work: I have done,

a) title page of thesis.
d)about the author.
f) addressed supervisor's comment 1.

I will take my lunch break now and read through and address comments in Chapter 1. :-)


lunch break delayed.. instead i managed to complete a few tasks:

1) addressed correction no. 2.
2) corrected some footnotes.
3) addressed correction no. 3.
4) addressed correction no. 4 in part. this one affects the whole thesis so it will require a proofread of the whole thesis.

definitely taking a break now. i intend to work on correction no. 5 tonight. worst case scenario, i will work on my bibliography while i sit in front of the tv. probably the latter is better. working on the thesis before bed time is likely to affect the quality of my sleep and result in insomnia and panic. therefore final decision is to work on bibliography tonight. that way i have a bit of a balanced-life. :-) hope i stick to that.

am happy with the pace thus far. i feel better because i have done something. in the end i want to have a thesis am proud of. hope i can keep it up and achieve that.



======= Date Modified 05 Aug 2010 15:37:06 =======
Late start today. Spent the morning cleaning the house and sorting financial issues.. The Bibliography did not get touched last night! Totally forgot about it and looked for jobs online.

How do you concentrate when financial issues are so pressing? I literally have 4 pounds left in my bank account as a cheque I received two weeks ago has not cleared yet!

Well... I have to try and keep focused. Two hours of hard work before popping into the bank again to see if they can sort things. .. sigh..


i didn't do much today. i ended up sorting my financial woes which thankfully got sorted. working on Bibliography for the next hour or so. Hopefully I can recover tomorrow.


Hope you have a good and productive day today Jojo. :-)


thanks Bakuvia. reporting for work today..

my aim is to address more of my supervisors corrections. i have a bit of a headache but.. i'll have to press on and see if i can recover two days work..


progress so far:

I have addressed correction no. 5 and finished correcting chapter 1. 6 chapters to go! lol. but at least the rest of the corrections are in one other chapter. so its proofreading only.

does any of you have guidance on what one is supposed to bear in mind in the revision phase? am asking just in case any of you is in a decent institution that cares about its phd students and gives guidance on what to do.

i feel like am just proofreading and i should be doing more.. but then again, that might just be the perfectionist in me. :$

back to it..


Had a wonderful weekend. I'm now refreshed and ready for the week.

Today's primary tasks: proofread Ch. 2 & 3. Start addressing the corrections in Chapter 3 and be done with them by Wednesday.


Final revision is such a strange experience.. a dilemma between wanting to give it your all and exercising restraint so that you don't do a complete rewrite of the thesis. An acceptance of the fact that the supervisor thinks the thesis is 'very good' even though you think it still needs work. A temptation to add material and do so discreetly in the footnote.. so that you don't upset the already approved body. An unusual experience of changing typos which aren't obvious to other readers.

An uncomfortable read of Joan Bolker's book described revision as: '.. a way to think further about your subject, to say something in the clearest possible way, and to undo mistakes, all in the service of producing first-rate writing."

Whilst am undoing mistakes, am not sure am thinking about my subject. I need to work on that.

Another thing she says is that: "When you revise, imagine yourself as a reader, instead of the writer, and ask yourself, "Does this make sense to me?"

I think that describes what I've been doing so far.. that said I have to finish correcting by Friday so that I can leave time for other unexpected things that might crop up. See I only have 3 weeks left!

Back to the work now, with one aim... to think about the subject (which I'm not sure I remember so well after a month's break!)



I have managed 15 pages of proofreading of Ch.2 today and done four pages of the Bibliography. I worked eight hours in all. 12pm -9pm with lots of breaks.

Tip for those writing up: If you are not using software, doing the Bibliography is gonna take longer than expected. Allocate a week, as its toooo boring to do it in a day. So you want to do a few hours a day. After two days am just quarter way through it not forgetting that am yet to edit some of the references.

I'm also amazed by the slow progress. I expected to finish proof-reading Ch.2 by the end of the day but when I started reading it critically according to Joan Bolker's instructions which I have outlined in my previous post, I've found that this chapter is not communicating as well as it could. The transition between paragraphs is quite erratic and although I do not have to do much on content (apart from a 500 words lit review on a concept), there is a lot of rephrasing to be done.

In the light of this am glad my aim was to finish all corrections by the end of this week and leave two weeks for the unexpected. This paraphrasing and mini-lit review was unexpected. I intend to work on that next week. 6 weeks really isn't a lot of time! :$ In my case am working with four weeks and allowing my supervisor two weeks reading time before the deadline for submission. The good thing is that I gave my notice about 8 weeks before the deadline for submission so am still on schedule though with a lot more work than I expected.

Since I cannot take in anymore now, am going to work out and watch tv before going to sleep in two hours time. My aim is to get up on time prepare for an interview for a job to start after handing in the thesis. After the interview I will proofread the remaining bit of Chapter 2 and hopefully start Ch.3. I'm hoping it will be smooth sailing after Chapter 3.

Hope everyone's work is going well.

Stick to it.... before you know it, it will be over. That's what am telling myself anyway. 8-)


Yesterday wasn't much of a success. I literally got overwhelmed by the realisation that I may half to rewrite the latter half of chapter 2 as it is not making sense to me. My supervisor however said it works quite well. So am torn between leaving as is or correcting.

Anyway, today's goal is making this chapter communicate. Because of the slow progress, I will be working through the weekend.

Fingers crossed.


Good progress today. I have half chapter 2 sorted. Half of it is remaining.

I feel very tempted to shut my laptop and go home and do bibliography and come back to it tomorrow when am fresher....

i will work for an hour and see...


ok.... so i've been very lazy. came in an hour ago and first went to get sweets. i was feeling so drained! i needed a sugar rush to get me going. then spend the last hour on FB. not very helpful. But the good thing is my sugar levels are now up and am ready tackle the second half to the chapter 2.

I hope I can be done with it today because there are 5 more to go and only 17 days left!