Friday, February 25, 2005

A complaint

Since Porko doesn't think I complain enough, here I go!

I just counted the pages in my different dissertation documents and my dissertation is well over 300 pages. And those are actual, usable pages, about 3/4 of which have been approved by my advisor. One chapter alone is 127. With an intro and a conclusion, that chapter alone could have been my entire dissertation.

My complaint is that my advisor did not help me enough in reining in my topic to an actually manageable task. I spent about 9 months after writing my proposal completely overwhelmed by my original topic. So I actually cut out 9/10 of the original subject to get to what I have right now. And even this is too big. But my advisor, who is generally an immensely pragmatic person, never said that I needed to whittle anything down. As I made my changes he just said "good idea." Sure, I should have known at the start that I had bitten off more than I can chew, but part of the advisor's job is to measure the topic against the time frame of the dissertation and my abilities.

I'm too far in to turn around now, so I'll finish my last chapter and conclusion and finish with a 400+ page tome.

10 Comments:

Blogger mcgibfried said...

that is "bill clinton: my life" long!
that is "lord of the rings" long!

that is why i limit myself to books with pictures.

1:48 AM  
Blogger SquirrleyMojo said...

so, what other project was your advisor engrossed in?

1:57 PM  
Blogger Porkorama said...

Hi...personal life has yanked me away from everything for bit...but I meant to respond...I don't think you should complain more, Francesca (of course, unless you feel like it). I guess I meant it more to be a criticism of my own whining.

Ergh...I wanted to try to be cheerful but I'm too depressed for that right now. [Insert cute witicism here.]

3:26 PM  
Blogger Francesca said...

My advisor is a decent guy, but is engrossed in writing two textbooks and supervising another dissertation right now. I think he just wanted me to figure things out on his own, it wasn't malevolence.

4:18 PM  
Blogger SquirrleyMojo said...

so you people are on a quarter system too??

9:21 PM  
Blogger Bettybella said...

I am finishing my dissy this weekend--must be in the readers' mailboxes by Sunday at 6 and I'll do it! So this is a pep talk for you: just get the damn thing done. Life will be so sweet afterwards, I've been told by a friend that she was happy every day for a full year after depositing.

Don't worry about page length--if you can't cut and tighten the writing now, know that you will later when you're working on the book or articles. I have the opposite problem--my dissertation is only 160 pages--but I've seen some in my program as short as 140 so I'm not going to sweat it.

Suffer through and then live the lazy life of the full time faculty member--no matter how busy they say they are, they still have tons of leisure time compared to a 9-5er.

9:45 AM  
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