One step forward, two steps back

by stronged

The process of trying to hone my writing into a logical, coherent piece of academic work is eating me up inside. I feel every claim I make is unsubstantiated and blown out of the water by Adrian. At the close of each meeting with my supervisor I feel I must start from the drawing board again. Is this the nature of scholarly work?

The main point I came away with from this meeting was the problematic approach I have of constructing an argument in what Adrian terms a “Darwinian manner.” This involves the process of elimination, where I feel I must prove other terms and theories are of less worth than the one I have chosen. This is how I have been taught to write. For me, research means distinguishing between points that are relevant from the points that are not. Providing a context to construct my argument. This often means explaining¬†why I have chosen not to use particular terms, preferring to use the terms I have stipulated. Unfortunately, I am spending most of my time writing about the context surrounding these “hero terms” rather than explaining why they are the one’s I have picked – what do they represent that I find important to my discussion?

I feel this shift in composing an argument is going to be trick to make. I need to be completely conscious about what I am writing and how I am framing it.

Adrian also suggested I use more subheadings to help me clarify the particular terminology I am using to discuss why interactive documentaries are my preferred way to capture the multifaceted nature of placemaking. He believes I should throw chorology out the window as it is not serving my argument. I do not need to go into the backstory of how humanist geography has evolved from the days of Plato and Aristotle. He also believes that I should cut to the chase and touch on the phenomenological aspects of placemaking. Use facets in more of a phenomenological way rather than associating them with the material environment of place. I’m still getting my head around this but see where he is coming from.

The next step for me to do is create snap shots of all the pieces of the draft I already have, then tear through them with Adrian’s suggestions. I need to be ruthless with my editing. Kill my darlings. Be efficient as time is of the essence. The draft is due on the 20th of September. That’s about a week left up my sleeve to produce 4,000 words and readjust the 4,000 I already have.

After that meeting I feel drained and discouraged from soldiering on. I need to shake off all my angst and approach this situation as pragmatically as I can.

The concepts that seem to bridge the divide between placemaking and online interactive documentaries are as follows:

  • Becoming
  • Assemblage
  • Multifaceted
  • Rhythm

Best I write to these headings to get a gist of how they will transfer over in both area of research.

I am wondering whether to mirror these headings from chapter one in chapter two. Or whether that will become repetitive for the reader. The simplicity of such a model may prove to clarify the similarities of placemaking and online interactive documentaries the most effectively. Currently, my subheadings are looking like this:

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 3.53.44 PM

Have just remembered I didn’t even broach the topic of classification systems creating form with Adrian. Maybe this is for the best as I need to get cracking with writing to my other terms.