Last week I wrote my methodology outline by deconstructing the methodology chapter of a completed dissertation. I don't know why the methodology chapter made more sense to me at this stage in my thesis but golly I'm glad it did.
No matter how many times I read an article, there is always something new to be found. At the moment I am focusing on completing my draft by Christmas. How researchers in my field phrase their findings and ideas has been of particular interest of late.
I like working with tables. The outline style I developed is broken down into single paragraphs. I extracted the content of each paragraph from the theses I have read. I also noted the literature referenced in each paragraph.
My lifestyle dictates I rarely have long periods of time to write. This outline style allows me to approach the methodology chapter piecemeal. I can write a paragraph (any paragraph) whenever I get a moment. I start by re-reading the literature to get a gist of the paragraph and go from there.
I am committed to just writing the paragraphs at the moment. When they are all written, I'll extract them from the outline and re-order to suit the needs of my methodology. Too often I get distracted by linking sentences. I'm usually so desperate to make the flow work that the process becomes counter-productive. Writing any old paragraph at any time is a bit more like free writing. It frees my mind from overall structure so I can just concentrate on the meaning of each individual paragraph.
I quite like using the pomodoro techinique (road tested in a previous #tweetingmythesis). It is not quite working with the outline method so I have made some modifications. Instead of sticking to the strict 25 minutes writing and 3-5 minute break, I write a paragraph and then have a break.
I haven't finished my methodology chapter. I envisage it will be the star of #tweetingmythesis for a couple more weeks. I feel this technique, recommended by Studious Jenn (@mystudiouslife) will be a stalwart addition to my academic writing (#acwri) repertoire.
If you have any feedback, comments, recommendations, corrections, I am all ears and thank you in advance.
I am also keen to road test some more #acwri techniques. Make a recommendation. I still have a long way to go and less and less time to get there so willing to try anything.