Making the big decisions!

I made a big decision this week. I decided my study falls into the “mixed methods” camp as per my original vision. I spent a lot of time devising a pretty good survey of singing students, and had 97 participants in the study. I think that counts as a good participation rate, given the overall size of the population. I want to include the results of the study in my thesis as it informs my case studies.

Why now? Why this? WTF and what am I thinking? Well. My PhD journey can be seen in part as a rather unsatisfactory attempt to follow the methodological desires of my principal supervisor. Leading to all sorts of depressions and angst by yours truly.

I specifically designed my study to be Mixed Methods. I like the approach and I’m not going to pretend that my survey phase doesn’t count just because I didn’t do a specific statistical analysis of the questions. I analysed the findings descriptively by percentage. Not sure why this should be discounted. Nevertheless I need to make sure my survey chapter doesn’t take up too much space, and only examines the key questions pertaining to my thesis. At the time of constructing the survey, I felt that more information from participants rather than less was going to be more useful. So it is, but I can’t include everything in the chapter…

Still. I’m in a happier place than I was this time last year. Ok. So, now to finish the thing. 2 weeks ago I started my introduction chapter because I knew it wouldn’t take long. I’m halfway through that. I am about to tackle my literature review, having been given some good, targeted structural advice by my supervisor. Makes it much easier to break down when one has a structure in place. I’m already about halfway through the chapter in draft form, having done a lot of work in previous years on the history of singing and conservatoires.

So, I’ll take about 2 months to finish writing this, if I only have one day per week (and maybe some of the weekend) to do it. Which takes me to October and my discussion chapter – in sections that the research questions determine. One month to write that and I’m in November. I have more time for study then as my Uni teaching dries up from November – I have Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays back. Then it’s writing the survey chapter, finishing off the introduction – maybe I’ll do that this week -, revising the narratives (not much, actually, because I had a look at those on the weekend and there’s not too much to do short of paraphrasing some of the longer quotes as they don’t really add to the narrative’s significance), fixing the methods chapter, et voila! I’m putting it out there – I’d like to submit by February 2014. Now, I know I’m on leave until then, but it’s the time to do it – when I have some breathing space. I CAN do this.

Hear ye, hear ye: Submission by February 2014!!!!

August: Finish introduction; revise and rewrite literature review.

September: Literature review continued.

October: Write discussion chapter and conclusion.

November: Write the survey chapter and construct the survey appendix. Revise narratives. Revise literature review.

December: Revisions of methods chapter, survey chapter.

January 2014: Revisions.

February 2014 1 – 14: formatting document, SUBMISSION.

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One thought on “Making the big decisions!

  1. 15Feb: drinking of wine, champagne or anything else in reach!! Much celebrating & huge sigh of relief!!!
    Go Jess!!! šŸ™‚

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