Signup date: 12 Jul 2006 at 9:56am
Last login: 19 Apr 2010 at 1:40pm
Post count: 1766
It's horrible isn't it! I've found that as I rewrite and rewrite that I've been able to find whole paragraphs that simply don't add anything to my argument and that I've been able to condense sections of the literature together to form a shorter analysis. I've taken out quotations that, while very nice and support what I'm trying to say, really don't do anything more than a reference would. Also, as I've started to think about the rest of thesis, I've found arguments that have been 'moved' elsewhere - otherwise I'd end up repeating myself later on. Think you just have to be a bit brutal, but I guess part of the PhD is about being able to condense ideas and explain them in a limited word count.
Unfortunately, when it comes to word limits everyone will tell you 'it depends'...but they're right. Everyone's project is different. I was told 8,000-10,000 per chapter and that has worked as a good guide for me. A lot of academics I've spoken to about this say anything beyond 10,000 words per section is too long (and you should really be thinking that you're trying to compress too much into one section). You'll probably find your first draft is much longer than that, but when you're forced to narrow it down you start to focus on what's important. If it helps, my lit review is going to be around the 10,000 word mark (although it started off more like 20,000!).
I'm social science
Started writing the lit review first (although it is also an introductory chapter as well). It will help you develop your ideas about the literature and make sure you have found as many of the relevant publications as possible (prevents you finding all your 'original' ideas in articles later on). It will also help you work out where the rest of thesis is going and how it will be original.
To be honest, when you have other factors to consider (like children or finances), it is a case of whatever works best for you or whatever your situation allows. Both options - FT and PT - have their plus and minus points and everyone's situation is different. If you are able to consider FT study, would you be able to start off as FT and then change to PT if you find that it isn't working for you? Or vice versa?
Couldn't find you those stats RogueA (though sure there was something posted on a thread on here about 8 months ago...)
Found this which may be useful to you preedym, although haven't read it in full myself yet:
I'm PT as I'm self-funded and have to work as well to support myself. If you have other commitments, then PT study is a good idea and it does remove some of the pressure in the sense you do have more time to complete. However, it is still extremely tough - it is a long slog and requires a lot of motivation (hence why the drop out rate is so high). There isn't a lot of support for PT students and I feel I'm considered 'inferior' to the full timers. If I didn't have to work, and I could afford it, I would be FT no question. But I know that isn't an option...
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