Dissertation – and next, preparing for A5

Having received positive feedback for A4 (the dissertation 1st draft), I’ve continued reflecting on the next steps in my process, what I found challenging and what I might do differently for the next draft.

While I’m used to reporting writing and editing in a business context, the experience beyond the basic skills of written language, seems of limited use when it comes to an academic dissertation. The dissertation is a creative, messy, open process that requires synthesis of different ideas and the expression on my own voice, while substantiating what I say with references, without drowning out what I have to say.

Here’s my 10 step route map:

  1. Collect additional reference material (areas suggested worth further research in my tutorial)
  2. Update PPS&Q (problem purpose statements & research questions) – a useful technique I came across online (https://cecilebadenhorst.wordpress.com/carnegie-african-diaspora-workshops/problempurpose-statements-ppsqs/) – I’ll make a fresh mindmap based on my first draft for this.
  3. Refresh outline of essay (mind map)
  4. Work through next edit of dissertation in one sitting and avoid editing at this stage – I realise that I wasted time editing draft 1 as I went along, which interrupted my flow and also gave time to areas ultimately dropped.
  5. Leave rework of introduction until after main body – most difficult part and since it needs to sign-post direction of work, makes more sense leaving it.
  6. Let sit for a while
  7. Hard critical edit
  8. Write conclusions
  9. Hard critical edit 2
  10. Proof reading and submission (in advance of 9th June tutorial)