Beefing Up the Intro

Last week in class Dr. Zamora helped me come to the decision to remove the interview section of my thesis.  This was to reduce the stress of jumping through IRB’s hoops, and it was also too cut down the thesis a bit, as Dr. Zamora felt that including and analyzing interviews would make the thesis more like a dissertation in terms of length and work.  I have to say, it is a relief to have one less thing to worry about, especially something that was so vulnerable to things I cannot control, i.e. other human beings.  I had been back-and-forth with whether or not to include interviews and surveys since last semester, or possibly even the semester before that.  I felt like discourse and rhetorical analyses of community artifacts, autoethnography, and field observations just wouldn’t be enough, or perhaps like those methods alone weren’t scholarly and study-y enough.  See?  That same old doubt is still dogging me!  Dr. Zamora assured me, however, that the aforementioned methods would yield plenty of “meat” to create a substantive thesis.  Mmm… Thesis meat…

When I broke the news to one of the people I had already lined up for an interview, they were actually disappointed.  They revealed that they had been bragging to a friend earlier that same day about the planned interview.  It’s pretty neat to know that my thesis had this particular person excited, as they were the one who had first introduced me to closed species.

As I expressed in my last blog post, this week was mostly centered around finishing up the Griffia section of my Introduction.  I got a draft written of the stuff I wanted to say, but I still need to go back in and add the “proto-citations,” as a good deal of the information I wrote about was just stuff that I had learned during my time in the community.  By the way, I just made up that term: proto-citation.  That’s what I’ve decided to call the little note I make after a statement in a rough draft that states where I got the info from but is not a full, fleshed-out, formatted citation.  It’s just so I know what to cite later when I get to the next draft.

I also curated some more images, some of which I plopped right into the draft, and some of which I put into a “For Appendix” area.  I made the decision to include colorful, eye-catching examples of each species in the section that introduces them rather than just anatomical sketches and the like.  I realized that if I want readers to become as excited as I am about these creatures, I should give them examples that are demonstrative as well as fun.

Another task with which I was charged last class was to start preparing for my Lit Review proper by going back into my resources to re-familiarize myself and start working out which resources converse with which other ones.  I went back into my Zotero and read through the notes I had made for many of the entries, and in so doing I realized I needed to add another section to my Introduction.  I needed to explain to readers what the heck DeviantArt is!  I had gathered a few resources which I had noted were for that express purpose, but I somehow forgot to factor them into the outline.  I guess I fell into that trap of assuming everyone in the field would know what it was because two of my professors did.  I added that section in between my statement of purpose and my overview of the three closed species communities I’d be covering.  I began writing it based on comments my father had made when I told him about the website, but I did not finish the newborn section.  I guess that’s where I’ll pick up in the coming week, in addition to diving headfirst into the Lit Review!

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