I was writing my introductory chapter before the Christmas holiday and found myself struggling to articulate the focus of my thesis. I have two research questions which I reworded for what feels like the umpteenth time but was actually content with how they are. I also thought I had laid a decent introduction to my thesis that provided a good overview of my context. However the key phrase here is “I thought”. Past tense, and so not now. Since I’ve returned to this chapter I’ve been pressing the delete button and muttering “What the hell is this about?” as I try to rework several paragraphs into something more, well, understandable! So far, I’ve been able to get rid of a lot (A LOT) of waffle and padding and narrowed this chapter down a little further. The chapter sort of feels more streamlined and my own thinking does feel clearer. But I’m frustrated it’s such a slow process even though I know, rationally, that doing this is a good thing. Emotionally, though, it’s a little rough. I feel like I’m walking against a strong wind where I can see my destination but it’s very, very hard to keep my balance! I guess I’m moving forward, inch by inch, but it’s hard to tell. Fingers crossed I can get this chapter out of the way by the end of this week.
I'm a PhD candidate at The University of Manchester. My research focuses on the experiences of visible ethnic minorities who are native English speaking teachers (VEM-NESTs for short). I mostly blog about the messy process of 'doing' research in my field. I also write about other aspects of being a doctoral student, such as teaching university level courses or learning how to use social networking tools. All views expressed are my own.
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