Dissertation mantras

Shipwreck enthusiasts–please excuse this off-topic post. More shipwrecks tomorrow!

So, common knowledge about the “dissertation process:” The research is fun. The writing is endured. But it’s the editing that makes you cry. So it goes that I’ve begun editing my chapter about Captain T. A. Scott and the development of marine salvage around the port of New York (for earlier posts about the chapter start here).

I’m no wordsmith so editing is… well… painful. My brain is mush. I’ve regressed. Is it its or it’s? Does turn of the nineteenth century mean ca. 1800 or ca. 1900? (apparently there’s no set rule–depends on the context in which it’s used.) I’m reduced to reciting stress-inducing mantras. “Topic sentence. Intro Quotes. Topic sentence. Intro Quotes;” or, the Monty Python-inspired: “Active voice. Get on with it. Active voice. Get on with it.” Never mind the whole punctuation debacle or the bloody footnotes. And then I get comments back about higher-order edits (image above). Today’s mantra: “People finish dissertations. People finish dissertations. People finish dissertations.” Now to get on with it.

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4 Comments

Filed under Dissertation Digest, Notes from the Field

4 responses to “Dissertation mantras

  1. “Is it its or it’s? Does turn of the nineteenth century mean ca. 1800 or ca. 1900?”
    Haha! Sounds like me.

  2. Buck

    It’s is not, it isn’t ain’t, and it’s it’s, not its, if you mean it is.
    If you don’t, it’s its. Then too, it’s hers. It isn’t her’s. It isn’t
    our’s either. It’s ours, and likewise yours and theirs.

    🙂 Editing isn’t easy but the results are worth it.

  3. soon your new mantra will be, “this is really happening! this is really happening!” on, on!

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