Summer Writes: Week 5


Old Bulgarian alphabet, a precursor to the modern Cyrillic alphabet. Read more here. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Old Bulgarian alphabet, a precursor to the modern Cyrillic alphabet. Read more here. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

I’m going to keep it short and sweet this week. But as we head into Week 5, think about what you need to do between now and the end to meet your goals. Maybe it would help to set some intermediate deadlines building to your overall goals? Similarly, if you’re not making progress on one part of your project, think about breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks, and work those into your weekly goals. And happy writing!

Weekly Goals:


To do this week: It is really down to the wire for when things need to be in to my advisor and then the committee for the defense. I am trying to stay calm.

1) Empirical Chapter 3 revision. Still take out any remaining points that sound causal, replacing it with associational language, add elective affinity, and keep going with the reordering. Also spend some time doing within-type contrasts and adding whatever I can say about gender to the within-type generalizations.

2) Empirical Chapter 2 revision based ideas about varied roles of state, non-profit cooptation, and state withdrawal I set up in the intro, visions of citizenship in the intro, and table from the chapter before. Needs more within-type contrasts; talk about how there is the most contestation in one type in particular.

4) As time permits, work on conclusion more.

5) Remain calm overall; I can’t get upset about any difficult feedback now; hopefully committee members will understand 3 full weeks in advance isn’t possible.


This week I’m going to be in the archives at Chicago, so writing may be a challenge. My idea is to do a 50-minute pom in the morning before I go to the library and one in the evening, M-F. This week I’d also like to finish the section I’m working on, which is the final substantive section of the chapter/article. I’m setting a deadline for finishing revisions to this thing by July 4th, so I can send it to some trusted readers for feedback, and move on to other projects.

Chez: – complete revisions on dissertation that came out of the defense
– complete formatting of full dissertation
– start planning possible articles coming out of the dissertation, based on committee members’ feedback

Meg: Now the focus needs to be on turning around this R & R and finalizing my research statement for job applications before I start mapping out a second chapter.The word count goal worked well for me last week, but won’t work so well for these types of activities, so I am going to try the 50-minute poms that are working for others, aiming to do between 4 and 6 each day.

Melanie: I am going to do additional research for my very rough chapter 1, and start filling my outline for chapter 2 in with research I’ve done so far so I can get a better sense of the gaps. Hitting the archives every day and doing a little writing every day, as I am finding I have too much research momentum at this point to take full days off to write.


9 thoughts on “Summer Writes: Week 5

  1. Change of plans: just got assigned a 2000-3000 word Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia entry on “gentrification.” So I’ll try and outline that piece this week, crafting the arc/periodization and choosing illustrative examples. Right now, I can’t think of a better lead than Graduate Hospital’s transformation from the Seventh Ward (which DuBois wrote about in The Philadelphia Negro).

  2. Continue minimum of 5-50 minute POMs a day at least 5 days this week. I’ve abandoned the per day word goal since it really varies based on which sources I am working with as I write. Larger goal is to be finished with a messy but complete draft of chapter 1 no later than next Friday (June 27).

  3. I really fell behind this week with a few minor health issues, but I managed to meet my goal of getting done with Chapter Four revisions from last week. This week (and I realize it’s already Wednesday!), I am shooting for just revising the introduction to Chapter Five. I know I’m grabbing for the low-hanging fruit here, but… that’s what I’m working with!

  4. Last week was pretty much a wash, so I have the same goals for this week: complete dissertation revisions, complete dissertation formatting, start planning for articles coming out of the diss. To help me focus, I’m setting writing times for myself: Monday 9a-1p and 2-5 p; Tuesday 9a-2p; Wednesday 1-6p; Thursday 3-8p; Friday 9-11:30 a; Saturday as needed.

  5. Got slightly off track w/ one week trip to Bangladesh and then bringing back a cold that knocked me out for a few days. Gah.

    Goals for this upcoming week:
    – brainstorm requests/guidelines for ultrasound training next week
    – begin writing ultrasound MOO with Nanomaxx device in mind
    – being qualitative training guide
    – submit revised NNIPS-3 paper
    – send along revised neonatal referral paper
    – complete review for BMC
    – if time allows, begin drafting Intergrowth paper

  6. In brief, I need to turn in my whole dissertation Wed. or even Tues. night. The remaining thing is revising empirical chapter 3 and then proofreading. Moving fast, trying to make it.

  7. Regarding last week’s goals, I did pretty well. My research statement should be finalized by the end of the day today, and I got some illuminating (and simultaneously confusing) feedback on my parole chapter draft and R & R. Since the deadline for the R & R isn’t until the end of July, I want to return to the parole chapter as my priority this week, mixing things up with the R & R when I feel stuck. My goal is to write 500 to 750 new words each day, Mon-Sat., and ambitiously get this chapter back to my advisor early next week.

  8. I did pretty well with my goals last week, logging a 50-minute pom morning and evening most days. I found that my morning poms got a lot more productive when I took them to a coffee shop for breakfast, since there’s no coffeemaker at my airbnb. For this week, I’m trying to keep up the same schedule, writing before and after the archive. I feel like I’m making good progress on the article, and should finish a draft I can be proud of by the 4th of July. This week I’m also going to start planning my teaching for the fall, by outlining the major tasks that I need to accomplish, and breaking them into manageable chunks.

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