so, i actually did, like, a lot of work on my prospectus yesterday. i managed to finish up the intro (all 10 subsections of it), write out the "Questions and Hypotheses" section, and get started on the methods. i'm not sure how dr. v. is going to feel about my 16 page introduction, but there is a butt ton of background information that i need to justify the 4 different questions my project will address. he advised me to keep the methods fairly non-specific so that i have wiggle room, and they shouldn't take up more than two or three pages if i don't go into the actual experimental designs (i think - they could actually take up 5 or 6 pages, even being non-specific). i'm not sure how exactly i'm going to structure the methods yet to keep them short. i basically have 4 different sets of experiments/field sampling that are being united under the theme of understanding the production of phenolics by seagrasses, and i'm going to have to struggle to keep the description of each part of the overall project down to about a page. then i have the general descriptions of the chemical analyses, which tacks on about another page. the final section of the proposal (i don't really count the literature cited section, which i've been doing as i go along so i don't forget to include any citations) is the significance section, which always seems to be the hardest for me to write because i have this fear of overstating the importance of my work. at the same time, i don't want to make it seem unimportant, either. dr. v. and i have talked about this a lot, though, and i have a general idea of what to write.
dudes, there is no way in hell that this paper is only going to be 20 pages (dr. v. was, like, let's try to keep this to about 20 pages). i can maybe keep it to 25, which isn't too bad i guess. the body will be 25 pages, i mean. i've already got a full 4 pages of references, and the methods and significance sections will add another half a page or so. that translates into about 55 references. whew. and that, my friends, is my attempt not to "drown it in references," as dr. v. put it.
oh my god, my dissertation is going to be a freaking monster. it shouldn't be that bad, though. the plan is to get 4 publications out of it and tie all of them together as chapters in my dissertation. i'm cool with that. sounds great, in fact. less work for me.
okee. i must get back to work now. i think i can even finish this thing today if i try really hard and don't distract myself too much.
2 days ago