Last week, because I completed my pilot study, I was able to finish my second revision to chapter 3 of my research proposal. Chapter 3 is about my research methodology and I had to completely rewrite about 50% of it as I am now incorporating some online research techniques and I have modified my target sample. This chapter is now being read by the co-chairs on my committee.
This week, I am working on my fourth revision to chapter 1 of my research proposal. This is the most difficult chapter to write because I have to make it both logically and emotionally convincing to people outside of ESL education that my study is worthwhile. I'm on the fourth revision because there are so many different ways to convince people, and I have to find the best way to combine as many of these approaches as possible without making it confusing. Another reason chapter 1 had to change was that chapter 3 changed significantly enough that it made an earlier revision irrelevant. This may sound like a pain, but I actually like this process because I notice how many of the theories, models, and concepts I'm working are better sticking to my memory.
Rewriting both of these chapters have helped me produce better research questions. In fact, a book that I had to read for my sociocultural anthropology course had a strong influence on the revised research questions as well.
As of now, I've revised over half of chapter 1. And today, I rewrote the most difficult part. It took me about 6 hours to compose. I worked in 2 3-hour segments with a lunch and family obligations in between. The easier revisions are ahead of me, and I anticipate to be done by Wednesday at best and by Friday at worst.
Next week will be my waiting period while my co-chairs read and comment on my submitted revisions. In the meantime, I will be on jury duty for Johnson County, Iowa. Also, my in-laws are visiting now and for the next week or two, so the fun never ends.