As many of you will know, I have spent a number of months now, writing and thinking about structures and narratives for the first draft of my thesis.  It has felt like a long, drawn out process but I think, like everything else in my PhD journey, it is all about reflection and bringing together the various threads of research and practice into a coherent piece of writing.  I also have a long way to go on this journey – another fifteen months.

I have written in modular form, that is I have composed sections about key themes and ideas, rather than attempting to come up with the structure when I am not sure where my musings will take me.  Some might say that I should have been clear about my structure from Day 1, but I started my draft early with much reading and practice still to do, with the intention, amongst others, to identify gaps, future directions for reading, and work still to do in my practice and explorations in the field.

The last couple of weeks have been hard work but seem like a watershed moment.  I have had to think harder than I have done before!  It was time to nail down the structure and then start putting what I have written into the relevant Chapter and Section.  First, a reminder of the structure I had chosen:

Thesis Structure Model 1 – Alison Price, June 2022

Having felt good when I had confirmed my structure (for the moment at least) I started to realise that this was only the high-level structure, and I still did not have a detailed plan of what would go where and what the narrative should be at the lower levels.  So, I created a grid of my structure with 14 component parts (see below):

Then I opened my big box file containing over 50,000 words and started to provisionally place my writing into the relevant section.

Allocating writing into Chapter Plan

After completing this task there is no place to hide.  I need to start writing or putting the thesis together.  It is a scary moment.  I decide to write across the themes 2, 3 and 4 (Allure) first.  I am now on Day 3 and hope I will complete the first theme today.  It is going better than I had hoped.  Tomorrow I will start on Zone. . .

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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