We are now entering January 2015 and it is time that my thesis outlines and proposals start to come together and look like a real thesis. After a month off for the holiday where I was unable to get much work done due to sickness it is a bit intimidating to get back into the swing of things. But after a meeting today with my thesis supervisor Dr Graham, I have a more clear plan set out on how to get myself back into the swing of things.
The biggest problem for me when I approach this thesis is that I cannot help but see from a beginning to end viewpoint. What I mean by this is that I automatically assume that I am needing to write the whole thing from beginning to end and make it a seamless read. What Dr Graham helpfully pointed out to me though is that since it is such a large piece of writing, that it is better that I chip away at it in different sections now and worry about making them connect later.
As logical as this sounds of course it is a difficult idea to get around for me as I have always written my papers from beginning to end and edited the flow of the reading while I write. While this may work for papers that are about fifteen to twenty pages at most, it gets very confusing to try to do so with something that is closer to the forty page range.
Such a strategy though, I believe at least, will be very helpful in getting back into the mindset that allows a university student such as myself to be successful. My reasoning behind this theory is that there is nothing that will improve your ability to write better than doing exactly that, writing.
Therefore, my plan at the moment is not to look at the entire project from top to bottom when I am writing and make it all connect there and then, as Dr Graham mentioned we can worry about that later during the editing process. Instead, I am going to break down the writing into smaller portions and simply worry about if they make sense on their own, and then connect them later on to the other sections of writing.
So I have begun this style of writing by beginning with the prologue of my paper. In the prologue I discuss my interactions with digital media at the university level of education, for example the difficulty I had at first when trying to get course materials such as textbooks into a format that worked for me to read. In addition I discuss how it has been through this thesis writing process that I have discovered a new program (Notational Velocity) that allows me to take notes in a much more organized manner.
Next up I will be writing about the history of the incunabula and its evolution into the book we know today. This section will be interesting as I will pull together sources from different books and academic journals to learn more about its social, cultural and physical characteristics and how they came to be.