It's not such a bad little chapter...

Lovely pithy quote of the day, from John Holbo:

Your average Ph.D. dissertation has the utility and appeal of an X-Ray image of a half-digested meal.

Also, I reread chapter 2 recently (which I wrote last summer), in which I describe my methodology, and while it's no award-winner by any means, it's not that bad.

To elaborate on this, a good friend of mine who is working on his dissertation once said that while my dissertation (or his, or anyone's) might bring up more questions and problems than it even begins to solve or so much as address, people who read it will learn something they didn't know before, and that's what a dissertation should do -- tell a story that teaches somebody something. Some might think that's an awfully low standard for a dissertation, but check this out: Here's what I'm going for. As a variation on what Jenny once said, I'm aiming for around two hundred pages of words with chapters and quotations and paragraphs and subheadings. It will have a beginning, middle, and end, and if you read it, you'll learn something you didn't know before.

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