Monday, October 8, 2012

Two More Chapters to Tackle!

For now, the methodology chapter is "done" -- but not done, done as I still need to play with the chapter as a whole (I sent it off to the fabulous Dr M with some questions yesterday afternoon).  I also need to walk carefully through it, make sure I have the works I cited in the "Works Cited," and then just generally attack the writing and make sure that I like what I have said.  And this doesn't even take into account anything that Dr M thinks I still need to focus on (I have never written anything like this so I am pretty sure I have left out some important aspects!).  But there is a part of me that is relieved that this chapter has been "birthed."  By far, this is the one section of the whole dissertation which has given me the most grief!

So what is next?  The "Results" chapter and the "Analysis" chapter.  I think I have the Results section figured out -- I just need to show my findings without any commenting or interpreting from me.  I simply present my findings and viola!  Done!  ... I wish it were that easy!  My biggest question has to do with my "raw data" -- the tables I made for each student (actually each student in the two classes has two tables -- 28 students total).  Do I just plop it all out there?  Or do I try to sum up the data somehow and then the raw data gets put in the appendix?  Not sure ...

But it's the Analysis Chapter I am a little nervous about now:

This interesting video makes it clear that the Analysis Chapter "makes or breaks the dissertation" -- the two speakers say that it separates the good students from the bad students.  Gulp!  No pressure!

I know that I want to address a bunch of questions (extract the data and create a story):  What data is the most interesting?  Why is it important or relevant?  Why should readers care about this "stuff" (whatever that stuff may be)?  I need to return to my original research questions and "play" with my findings.

I am not starting from scratch as I start jumping into this .... but I don't have much!  When I was going through the data and making the original "raw data" charts, I did make some notes on stickies about patterns that I happened to notice.  So I guess I need to take my stickies and just jump into writing!

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