How to write a good dissertation – the Atlantic (humor)

This is the same interview linked to in the post below—repackaged for those of you looking for a little dissertation writing help (and not caring much about story-telling). Jack Hitt (as if you know or care) in an Atlantic interview:

I have spent a long time looking for short cuts to the answer to this very question. But I haven’t found any. So, begin by over-reporting and over-researching everything. . . Begin the process of re-reading all of your research. Bail out of re-reading all of your research by convincing yourself that what you really need is a long walk to think about “structure.” Walk toward your shoes and look at them. Blow off the walk altogether. Descend into a shame spiral. Now, catch up on your HBO tivo’d backlog. After several hours, take another ride on the shame spiral. Lumber over to the desk. . . Write down the big ideas that form the superstructure of the piece. Realize you are a pompous git for thinking that ideas have anything to do with it and go back to that list of details. Set it aside. Read some blogs. . . Fiddle with writing a few more paragraphs. Microwave your cold cup of coffee for the third time. Go over your notes again. Yell irrationally at your spouse/child/dog/a bare wall. Now, kick the wall. Limp. Review. . . Paste a large sheet of paper to a wall and, standing up with a fresh cup of coffee in your hand, outline the piece in really big letters. Realize that you’ve misunderstood the point of the entire story all this time. Scream . . . Read the latest draft-like substance and think that, with a little work, maybe this won’t be too embarrassing. Feel mildly excited that there could actually be something here worth reading eventually. . .

[I could have done without the last line of his description, but some of what he says could put a smile on your face. We are not alone.]

Technorati Tags:
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “How to write a good dissertation – the Atlantic (humor)

  1. Davis says:

    you should reprint this in May, when so many term papers are being due

  2. jutta says:

    sounds familiar 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s