[EXTRA] August 17, 2013: The Importance of Visiting Your Research Work and Writing EVERY DAY

I’ve read SEVERAL guides on successful academic writing, and they all advise writing EVERY day, even if just notes or freewriting or one paragraph.

Having spent the morning reacquainting myself with my thesis proposal, I see why this advice is so prevalent: There is definitely SIGNIFICANT momentum lost in stopping and restarting. Better to engage with research and writing daily, even if just for an hour. And by engage I mean “write something down.”

Lesson re-learned. 😉 My proposal and I are now successfully reacquainted :). I did this by rethinking through, aloud and on paper, what my proposal and project are all about.

To accomplish this:

  1. I displayed Martyn Descombe’s figure “the logic of research proposals,” viewable in the amazon.com preview of his book “Research Proposals: A Practical Guide” (see photo and images below).
  2. I cut a handful of white 4-inch by 6-inch note cards in half (long-wise), and jotted down my initial remembrances of my answers to the proposal-building questions that Denscombe has placed in the figure. (No need to type this up–it’s not going into any writing that I submit.)
  3. Then, I recreated the figure in my Livescribe notebook (which functions as my researcher’s journal).

Quickly so that I can get back to writing and note-taking, I added my personal answers to these questions, noting where I cannot answer, and viewing any hesitancy in speaking out the answers as cues to identify places where I need to do a little note-taking in Citavi. I already knew that the following articles have no notes (see Citavi images below), and that this is why I cannot speak off of the top of my head about their content that supports my proposal argument: I’ve only just read them, but it’s the note-taking that gets the content in the head.

[Citavi image] Boaler article has no notes! [Citavi image] Berliner article has no notes!

The goal today is to type up a g’nuff (“good enough”) version of the introductory paragraphs (this is like the 5th version, but I’m solid on the proposal now, and all five versions were necessary and helped) and the background statement.

I’ll let you know tomorrow whether I reached these goals or not. 🙂

NOTE: My heart is swelling. I oh, so want to have the victory of submitting this proposal soon. I just need that release, ya know! I know it will do WONDERS for my soul to release it. No time to look backwards. Forging ahead!!!  

Images and the Livescribe pencast link documenting this morning’s “reacquaintance work”  are below. Blessings!



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Listen to the audio of the Liveescribe page here (NOTE: the version I’ve shared here does not share my proposal content because I need to keep that private at the moment ;)): http://www.livescribe.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/LDApp.woa/wa/MLSOverviewPage?sid=VZbnCd1vg01G

[Livescribe image] Denscombe's Logic of a Research Proposal Figure


About Z. Sanders

I love to inspire and encourage, and I believe in counting the blessings (one will always be able to find SOMETHING to be down about, if one tries hard enough). A wife, mathematics educator, and mathematics education researcher, I love to learn and love to teach. I'm a tech-o-phile and avid reader, and I love to design and create systems to support creative work. I love trying new recipes almost as much as I love the Spanish language. A complete music aficionado, sometimes I'm a guitar student. I am trying to live with a faith God can SEE (not just one HE can hear). (I first heard this sentiment from Joel Osteen.) I am CONVINCED that kettle belling, line dancing, jogging, free weight lifting, exercise biking, and Barry's Bootcamp are THE combo! (Try it!). Those are important, because, well, if it's seafood or Mexican food, I'm in! Thanks for stopping by! Godspeed with your endeavors, and may you experience joy today. -- "Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." -- Bill Cosby

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