The last few days have seen me struggling with my literature review, not because I’m bored witless or anything, no, not that, but because it’s HARRRRDDDD!
So, a couple of days ago, I decided to start my discussion and conclusion chapters because I needed a break from the hard stuff. And 3000 words later, I reckon the conclusion is nearly finished. That was surprisingly easy! I love being able to make motherhood statements about my work.
I’ve followed a basic structure that was recommended by DH, plus the advice in the book I’m reading to help get me over the line: “Completing your qualitative dissertation” by Bloomberg and Volpe, 2012, Sage Publishing.
I’ve started with a simple explanatory statement that seems to be at the beginning of every chapter and restated the research questions. Then under the header Summary of Findings I’ve blocked each of the research questions under teacher findings and student findings.
Then I’ve written a statement about future research directions and recommendations for music institutions.
Finally, I’ve made a big statement about the importance of the master/apprentice tradition but how it is transforming for the twenty-first century and added my own concluding statement about how my study has contributed to my transformation/ education as newbie tertiary singing teacher.
And there it is. My conclusion is kinda done. I just need to fix up the bit about the student and teacher findings because it’s all in my head at present, despite my findings being written down as narratives. Those narratives are LONG, man, and winding.
And my supervisor, years and years ago it seems, suggested that I create poems from my headers in the narrative chapters. This I’ve yet to do, but it seems a nicely creative activity after all the angst of the research components, and I can chuck these poems in for a bit of light relief at the beginning of the conclusion. Or maybe the end. Or maybe not at all.
But anyway, at least the ending’s mostly done. This also has helped me (once again) refine my thinking so that I can better articulate my big idea.
DH commented that one of his research assistants (the one we all hate because she is SO AMAZING at her job and so we slavishly copy all her best approaches) does the same thing prior to writing up the results. Hmm. Who would have thunk that writing the conclusion first would help refine the big picture?!
*And in a final note, who would have thought an uninterrupted few weeks for writing would have produced this much work? Oh, the irony.