A Pilgrim’s Progress Report #3

“Indiana Jones” by Clement127. Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND

Oh dear! I do not seem to be doing well with these progress reports. It’s been almost 12 months since  my last Pilgrim’s Progress Report!

Previously on Pilgrim’s Progress…

As I had previously noted, 2017 was the year where most of my writing was going to take place. It culminated in a succession of first drafts, revisions, corrections and redrafts. The words I was using were being crafted and refined with each revision. In many ways, I compare the thesis to making a teapot. The tea pot is made up of several separate elements: the pot, the spout, the lid, the handle. Each of these elements are roughly assembled. They are then shaped and smoothed over. Each element is then brought together to make the teapot itself. Once assembled, more work is done to shape and smooth the elements together into one seamless whole entity. The teapot is finally fired, glazed and decorated so that it can be used. The thesis starts off as several separate elements that need to be shaped to form a seamless single entity with purpose (hopefully!).

Finally…in the spotlight

I have long since suggested to the Faculty of Education that they needed to showcase their doctoral students in much the same way as the other faculties in my institution have done. I was delighted to learn a special page has been created to showcase the brilliant work being carried out by the other doctoral candidates. Needless to say my doctoral student profile now graces that special page.

1,247,040 minutes

I began working on this thesis on the 12 September 2015. I finally submitted it to the Graduate School on 25 January 2018. It has taken 1,257,040 minutes to finally get there (or 866 days if you prefer).

I posted an image of the front cover of my thesis (see above) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I have received fantastic responses from friends, colleagues and peers. There is an incredible array of mixed emotions as you hand in your thesis: anxiety and dread offset with excitement and joy along with a dash of relief.

A colleague tweeted: “so how many ‘words written’ per day?”. It’s an interesting question that is a little difficult to quantify, but I will try. The seven chapters within the thesis amounts to 51,297 words. The thesis itself contains 82,015 words (this includes the bibliography and references sections). However, this does not include the 9825 words I wrote as part of a preliminary report of the findings from each of the 4 different methods I used. The 952 words of the ‘Literature Search Strategy’ section that were discarded. The 65,302 words that I wrote in my journal. There are all words in the blog posts that I have written which are centred around my EdD. I have not included the hundreds (if not thousands) of words that were eventually culled during the editing process. There were some lovely little turn of phrases that I had written, which had to be removed because they were a little ornamental for the thesis. I can only offer a conservative estimation, but it crudely equates to 183 words per day, which is roughly the length of this paragraph!

The End? Not quite…

I am going to have to start to think about what to do with my spare time. But, before that I have a mock viva to prepare for in March 2018, and I am hoping the viva itself will be soon after.

As I said in my last report, I had good intentions to blog about the experience, but those experiences were too raw and too personal to put on a public blog. I am quite a private and introspective person, that kind of exposé does not sit comfortably with me at all.  The final Pilgrim’s Progress report will be written sometime soon after my viva. Until then dear reader, I bid you a fond adieu.

2 thoughts on “A Pilgrim’s Progress Report #3

  1. First of all, congratulations sir, and best wishes for the viva. As you said, mixed emotions I’m sure.
    I’m a ways behind you, but hope to have matters concluded (if things go according to plan!) around autumn (UK) time this year. At the moment though, I’m just about to start assembling my pot from its constituent parts. How long did it take for you to get from there, to what we see in the image above … roughly?
    Thanks Wayne.

    1. Hi Ian,

      Many thanks for the kind words and I hope your own PhD is coming along as well as can be expected.

      The various constituent parts were roughly in place by November 2017 – this included the introduction and conclusion chapters, abstract, appendices, acknowledgements, abbreviations, glossary, references and a bibliography. The ‘teapot’ as it were was passed onto my supervisors at the beginning to December 2017.

      By mid December 2017, they came back with the comments and suggestions, which were largely editorial. I didn’t start to look at their comments until the beginning of January 2018. 1 week later, I had made the changes they had suggested. By week 3, I passed on the thesis to be proof read by a professional proof reader. By the end of that week, I made the changes they had highlighted. In week 4 of January, I printed off four copies of the thesis and passed it over to the Reprographics team to bind the thesis according to the Graduate School’s specifications. The same day, I submitted the thesis. In total, it took me 4 weeks to get it into a state that was appropriate for final submission.
      If I have correctly understood your question Ian, I hope I have answered it for you.

      The very best of luck with your PhD. The light is almost at the end of the tunnel.

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