The first thing you must determine when faced when major revisions (including total overhaul of organization, reformulating your research, cutting out large amounts of your document) is whether to start the writing process over or try starting over. The reason most people don't do this is because they feel they will have wasted time writing the first draft. However, sometimes the structural or content changes are so major it is better to start from scratch, using the ideas and insights you created while writing your first draft.
One suggestion in starting over is to answer the question: What are the three major things I want the reader to take away from this. This is the equivalent of the 3 minute pitch. This should help you to focus your writing on only the most important elements for this one particular piece of writing. Once you have these three major points, you can use them to write your introduction. If you have specific passages that support those three points, you can cut and paste them into your new structure, but only as they support your introduction. Anything else should be excluded and saved for later. I did this for my dissertation. While editing and revision was an interesting topic, it did not fit my introduction, nor did it really answer my research questions. As a result, I am now doing further research just on that topic for a journal article.
This last suggestion also works when you need to cut a lot out to fit a required word limit. By focusing on your research questions and introduction, you can cut out parts that are not directly relevant. You need to be ruthless in your cuts, however, keep the sections for further publications.
- V Yonkers
- Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.