Friday, May 15, 2009

Can the Article Be Done Today? Perhaps

So yesterday wasn't the tour de force of work that Wednesday was. I did, however, pick through the whole draft in hard copy and make extensive revisions for clarity, for concision, and for making the whole thing hold together more neatly. I actually got changes typed in for approx. 5/6 of it (which ends up being another layer of revision), and I've got about 5 pages left to deal with, including totally rewriting the conclusion. Some of the revision involved cutting, but I didn't end up cutting whole sections in the way that Mean Reviewer suggested. As I thought through the problem that Mean Reviewer had, I could see that the cutting of whole sections might have been the easiest way to address issues of length, and it would have allowed me to focus the paper in a way that it appeared I might have wanted to do from the initial version, but the problem with that approach is that what I appeared to argue in the initial version wasn't really what I was arguing. It was a problem of translating the article from a conference paper, really - I had been using some shorthand phrases that indicated I was talking about one thing (which I was in the conference paper) when really my ideas had developed to talk about something less narrow. So rather than cutting out whole sections to fit the less narrow offhanded comments, I instead made the argument more precise to fit what I actually wanted to say, cut some sections that were bullshit attempts to hammer home an argument that I wasn't making, and expanded some analysis that made sense of the examples. Between that and editing to make the prose more dense and precise, I think I should easily be able to keep this thing a manageable length.

So, on the agenda for this morning:

  1. Finish typing in changes (and revising) from hard copy notes.
  2. Rewrite conclusion.
  3. Update works cited.
  4. Work on content notes.
  5. Revisit reviewers' comments (because I haven't looked at them directly since beginning - a central part of my revision process - I always translate them into my own notes first, work on the revision, and then I return to the comments in their direct form again at the end)
And then this afternoon:
  1. Reread entire draft, making any other essential cuts/changes and adding in other necessary content notes that I decide I need. Get the thing to a tight, polished, appropriate length.
  2. Write letter regarding how I addressed the reviewers' comments.
  3. Either let the article age over the weekend or just send the thing off this afternoon. It depends on how I feel about the whole thing.
I think that this is an entirely reasonable set of expectations for myself for a day. Perhaps more later, should I need breaks or to whine :)

ETA: I could have held on to it over the weekend, but I'm sick of it. It's gone. Done. Whatever. I do think it's much better for the revisions, but who the hell knows. Keep your fingers crossed that this thing is out of my hair forever.

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