My research was totes important–discuss

So, I kinda need to work on the discussion section of my paper.  And, by that I mean that I need to put some words–any words at all–after the discussion heading in the draft.  I’m letting the thing intimidate me and I shouldn’t, really.  I know my research was important.  I know it contributed to the field.  I even know why it was important and how it contributes to my field.  And yet, there are currently no words after “Discussion.”

The problem, mostly, is the same problem I had with every other section, I don’t know how to say what I want to say.  See, I am most comfortable with an informal style of writing (you don’t say?) and a paper is really not informal.  If I had to write a series of informal blog posts about my research, the whole thing would be done and I could go defend and pick up my doctorate.  So, what happens is that I sit in front of the computer and wait to feel inspired.  I write a sentence.  I delete the sentence.  I write a new sentence.  I delete it.  It’s really quite painful.

Well, this approach is getting me nowhere fast so I’ve decided to try something different.  I opened a new document and am writing the discussion as though it was for the blog.  I figure, at least I get something written down and I can clean up the language and make it sound all professional and smart later.  So far, it is working.  We’ll see how it goes when I try to translate it into professional-speak.

7 thoughts on “My research was totes important–discuss

  1. Write blog posts, and then geek them out! The key is to get the general outline down, once that happens, everything will open up for you.

    I remember really enjoying writing my discussion. It was where I could put all of the stuff I thought, and no matter what, people had to believe me.

  2. Excellent idea – exactly what I was going to suggest! It’s always easier just to get your ideas down then edit, than try to be perfect right off the bat 🙂

  3. I was going to suggest that too. I learned that technique from a dissertation coach. She says to define your first stab at a document as a “crappy draft” so that you give yourself permission to just get your ideas down without worrying about how it sounds.

    I hope the progress continues!

  4. Yeah, write it down in YOUR language. Then dress it up all pretty so it can walk the world as science. That’s how I do it. SO much less angst.

  5. The discussion is the the hardest part to write, I think. The introduction can be a lot of work, but you tend ot know what needs to go in there. The discussion though??!!

    Writing blog style is always idea to get the words flowing. You may or may not get useable text, but it is still productive.

    My strategy for discussions is to make a bullet list of points. Usually, I make these bullets as I am writing other sections. But it works about as well to do a read through of the paper, jotting down bullets as I go. The bullets are of digressions, elaborations, and ideas for putting things in context. Things that I may have been tempted to discuss as I was writing earlier, but didn’t fit in an introduction or methods section. Usually only a few of my bullets make it into the final discussion, but the list of ideas is very helpful.

  6. I’m so glad to come across this post on your website…it echoes my sentiments exactly!

    I understand your pain, as I have just submitted another draft of my discussion to my professor. I was told that the intro is the most difficult to write, but I would say it is the discussion.

    Having an outline and confining myself to my room forced me to write :). Lots of procrastination over the past few months, though…

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