Writing the Qualitative Dissertation: Understanding by Doing

By Judith M. Meloy | Go to book overview

APPENDIX C

Barbara's Letter, Continued

12/7/98

Dear Judy,

Where do I begin? I am flattered by your prompt and lengthy response, intrigued by your use of pencil, amused by your town's name (is it Poultry?), and delighted to be engaged in this conversation. My 10-year-old son has gone to bed at 7:00 PM (!) leaving me with unexpected free time, and I can't resist responding to your letter. Do not hesitate to “interrupt the flow with questions” as your good questions help me to formulate my thoughts. You see, I chose to be a part of this discussion quite deliberately as I feel that it will help me to define my research lens. I learn by processing, or talking through my problems—“thinking out loud” if you will. Right now I am learning various research paradigms and struggling to define my own personal perspective. My hope is that this discussion will assist in that process, making this a mutually beneficial experience, and closely connected with my work….

You ask, “What has become of the strange vocabulary and the secret society?” Well, the initial barriers seem to have diminished somewhat. As I continue to speak about research with professors, or other doctoral students, the language gradually becomes familiar—I guess I am being immersed in the culture much like I would if I traveled to a foreign country. I think that my particular study, that of gender depictions in children's literature, has certainly been instrumental in my being able to find a comfort level with research—because it is meaningful to me, in very personal ways, but is simultaneously scholarly and intellectually alive, which holds my interest. The methodology, literary criticism, is an integral part of what is meaningful, i.e., I thoroughly enjoy deconstructing the essay—analyzing every component under the microscope (the lens of

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Writing the Qualitative Dissertation: Understanding by Doing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Research Correspondents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments x
  • About This Book xi
  • 1 - Understanding by Finishing 1
  • 2 - Understanding by Beginning 8
  • 3 - Understanding at the Beginning 30
  • 4 - Understanding by Proposing 56
  • 5 - Supporting Understanding 73
  • References 95
  • 6 - Understanding by Focusing 97
  • 7 - Understanding by Writing 118
  • 8 - Understanding by Doing 145
  • 9 - Understanding by Finishing 171
  • 10 - Understanding by Ending 181
  • Appendix A 191
  • Appendix B - Sample Tables of Contents 196
  • Appendix B 205
  • Bibliography 209
  • Author Index 215
  • Subject Index 219
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