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Week 6 Strengthening your structure

Week 6 Day 1 & 2 Outlining a model article

This week, we are working on the structure of our article. I’m relatively confident in structuring because I have written and reviewed many abstracts and I always hear that an abstract is really a contracted version of an article. Also I have skimmed the three articles that were published in the journal that I am aiming for and also counted how many words each section has in all three of them so I think I have a good sense of the structure of an article in my field.

Despite my familiarity with structuring of a journal article in my field, the activity of today was extremely helpful. I pulled out my model article and made a detailed outline of it. Since I had already read this model article before I knew it was comprised of introduction, literature review, methods, results, and discussion. And I knew how many words were contributed to each section. So these were no news to me. What I’ve found incredibly helpful was, though, to see how the author advances the narrative. Because I paid close attention to the structure and how the narrative evolves, I could see how tightly every paragraph and every section fits together. No wonder why the article was so clear and comprehensible when I read the first time!

I was also able to learn how the author did her lit review in a way that it revolves around and justifies her argument. Reading the literature review of this model article had me think again about my own literature review, and the overall cohesiveness of my article really. I’m really glad I did this activity before I delve into my article to finish the first draft for the next two weeks. What I’ll do while writing is that I’ll keep going back to this outline to keep reminding myself the cohesiveness of the narrative. I’m almost excited about the next two weeks of writing now!

Wrapping up Week 6 & starting Week 7

I haven’t updated my progress in this blog for awhile but I made a quite a bit of progress last week. First of all, I decided to make a substantial change to my paper. That is, I revised my argument. Basically what I’m going to is solely concentrating on one ideology that I have found instead of showing three ideologies that the previous study have proved and then adding mine at the end. The email that I received from the author of the book, on which I based my study, made me first think about this possibility. I debated for a few days and I tried everything, in vein, to convince myself that the paper was maybe okay as was. But the moment of truth has arrived and I decided to change my argument for the paper. Changing my argument for the study meant that I had to revise my abstract and outline. Also this meant that I probably won’t be able to use much of what was written before. But I feel this is the right decision.

Wrapping up the tasks from the week 6, I have drafted a very detailed outline in accordance with the revised argument. The previous activity to outline a model article helped me a lot to draft my own. I created an outline almost paragraph by paragraph around the new argument. I was able to still salvage the methodology section from the previous draft. So I polished this section last week.

Today, I worked on the results section. This worked pretty well with the task for this week since this week we’re supposed to work on revising evidence. I was satisfied with the progress that I have made today because I thought it would take a lot longer. According to my writing plan, I’ll have to finish the results section by Wednesday and I don’t think it’ll be hart to achieve that goal considering the rate of work today.

We’re now on the second half of the 12 weeks. The past six weeks have’t exactly been a smooth straight journey but I really feel like I’m making a progress and I feel more and more confident about my paper. Moreover, I feel that the whole process is really helping me to become a scholar, rather than just a grad student. I can’t wait to be done with the second half and find myself grown even more!

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