Dissertation Diary (Part 2)

2 weeks further down the track and here's some updates on the dissertation, following on from part 1

Monday 18th June 
My birthday weekend was a lovely long break and a great distraction. I ended up having a super long, unusual lie in so I didn't wake up until 1pm and by the time I finished the last half of the film, packed, loaded the car and drove back to Nottingham in the horrible traffic, I didn't get home until gone 6pm and I was exhausted. Instead of doing dissertation work, I spent a few hours cleaning, tidying, unpacking and doing life admin to catch up on some bits. Tomorrow I am going to have to be back at it, because I have four long shifts this week so not much time! As much as I would love to write Chapter 4, due to the sporadic spare time, this week's goal is to finish the second draft of Chapter 3 and then try to cut it down further to loose some of the 5000 words over I need to get rid of. I will then send this to my supervisor for feedback on certain parts, and print it to make the third draft. I will then use the feedback from my supervisor to update the first two chapters and send these to my friends and family. If I have time, I would love to finish my thematic analysis and finalise my emergent theme titles too. 

Tuesday 18th June 
I woke up with the worst headache so as much as I wanted to get on with writing, I felt if I pushed myself too much I would struggle long term aka a migraine. I decided to take it easy and ended up sleeping most of the day. I’ve also stupidly started a new show which I want to binge watch but I’m trying so hard not to. I ended up starting work around 4pm and then worked through to 11pm, finished draft 3 of Chapter 1. I feel really good about it and it’s below word count which is really unusual for me. I’ve sent it to my dad for some feedback and just to make sure it all makes sense. Of course, because I’d slept most of the day, I then couldn’t get back to sleep and was awake until gone 4am, with a 6am wake up call. 

Wednesday 19th June 
After just 2 hours sleep, I had half a day at work, then came back for an MS Teams meeting and lunch. I was shattered, so I decided have a little nap but having ordered a grocery shop I knew it would wake me up within 2 hours or so. It worked a treat and I felt lovely and refreshed when I woke back up. I unpacked the groceries, watched some television and then started on Chapter 2. The feedback from my supervisor asked for quite a bit more detail on 3 parts to provide further critique of literature and develop the context more. It took a lot longer to find the research and evidence to back my points, so I didn’t finish until just after midnight but I think it’s a good chapter and I’m proud of it. Again, I’ve sent it to my dad for some feedback. 

Thursday 20th June 
I’ve had a 12.5 hour shift so I haven’t done much today. I did however print Chapter 3 ready to be edited. Not going to lie, I’m very overwhelmed. The chapter is supposed to be 3750 words and it’s currently 5500 words over the limit. The word count doesn’t even include all the tables and figures, of which there are many. Wish me luck. I’m going to start it tomorrow but I don’t think I’ll manage it in a day, regardless of how early I start. 

Friday 21st June 
I’ve spent the day going through Chapter 3. I’ve made it a chapter I’m proud of but it’s still very much over the word count. I’ve made a few paragraphs into tables so I’m not 2800 words over, with only about 1000 word leeway available to use, so we will see how it goes. I’ve sent it to my dad to have a look at over the next week or so, alongside the first 2. Tomorrow, I start night shifts so I’m not sure what I’ll do for the project. I may write the introduction for Chapter 4, or create the thematic analysis table. 

Monday 24th June 
Honestly, this week is going to be a bit of a write off because I'm working 4 days and I have 2 days in Wakefield for my aunt's funeral which I just know is going to take it out of me. I woke up today and did some arranging of currently information for Chapter 4 which will hopefully make it easier to write when I finally start. 

Tuesday 25th June 
It was the funeral today and to top it off, some family plans fell through that really upset me. I decided not to put too much pressure on myself so I just went through the findings again to finalise my themes for the thematic analysis and highlighted the evidence for each section. 

Wednesday 26th June
I wrote up a description of my thematic analysis process and started to write up the themes. I made two tables to identify how these were identified and which papers had each theme in. I actually headed to the theatre in the evening so I didn't finish them in the end but made good progress. 

Saturday 29th June 
I finished Chapter 4 and I actually found it quite easy to write up the themes in detail once I started. I had already got all the information in bullet point form so I just had to elaborate on them and join the concepts together. I ended up finishing the first draft of the chapter, although it's double the word count so I need to cut down about 1500 words. 

Sunday 30th June 
I started throwing up yesterday evening after my headache got worse and worse, turning into an awful migraine. I haven't had a proper migraine for a long time so I feel terrible. I tried to start on Chapter 5 a little but didn't make much progress before having to go back to sleep. I ended up waking up at 2pm, then again at 7pm. After eating something, I starting on the easiest subsection of recommendations. I had also gathered this information together when doing the thematic analysis section of the findings, so again it was mainly just a case of copying it over and rewriting.