Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Post-Defense Revisions

Let me start this post by saying that I did not expect the defense to wipe me out physically, emotionally, and cognitively for such an extended period of time.  Now that I am sleeping better, I wonder if I am still suffering from post-defense fatigue or from allergies.  Probably both.  I'm still a bit in a mental haze in my day-to-day routines.

Aren't you done?
No, I need to make a lot of revisions to my dissertation before I submit it to the Graduate College, which is the last step before earning the PhD.

But you passed--
Yes, under the condition that I make these revisions.   Ideally, I would have liked to have had another month or two to edit my dissertation before defending.  However, I wouldn't be able to defend during the summer because most of my committee members would not be around at the same time.  I wanted to defend before the spring semester ended.  I knew this meant that my dissertation would not be as polished as I and my co-chairs would have liked for the defense.

How much do you have to revise?
My first impression to the defense was that I had to revise more than I expected.  But after thinking it over (obsessively: therefore lack of sleep), I had many of these revisions in mind before defending.  My committee made it clear that I had to make all of them, plus a few more.

I haven't confirmed with my co-chairs yet, but it seems that Chapters 1 and 2 need the most revision in terms of reframing and/or strengthening my argument for the research project.  Chapter 4 and the first half of Chapter 5 also need a lot of revision, but that seems to be more of reorganizing than rewriting.   Chapters 1 and 2 will probably take at least one week each to revise.  Chapters 4 & 5 will probably take a week.

What about Chapter 3?
My most embarrassing mistake was here.  In February, I changed the verb tenses in Chapter 3 so it read more like a descriptive process narrative than a proposal.  Those changes were saved on Dropbox on one computer.  I then made content changes a few days later on my flash drive on another computer.  When I saved those new changes on Dropbox, it saved over the previous version with all the grammar changes.  That was the last time I looked at Chapter 3 for revisions, unfortunately and embarrassingly.  Making those grammar changes were tedious, but I must repeat the tedium again.  Ugh!

How does this change your original revision plans?
Yes, well I foolishly thought my committee would suggest a few minor changes.  I thought this would take a week or two and then I would spend the rest of June checking and double-checking the format according to APA and the Graduate College template requirements, which is probably more tedious than checking the grammar in Chapter 3. 

Now it appears that May and June will be too tedious for one person to bear (I lightly jest), so I am now more seriously considering to hire a proofreader for APA and the template.  This will afford me more time to make better revisions to the content and organization of the paper.

Do you recommend others to follow your path?
Not really.   One reason is that it's hard to follow most PhD candidates' paths because the situations and contexts are different.  Even if someone had the same dissertation committee and a similar dissertation as mine, that candidate's writing and revising strategies may completely differ from mine.

Will you be able to get it done in time?
Yes, I am not worried about that.  I am looking forward to not having to worry about it anymore.  That is in August. 

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