11 March 2016

Dissertation Defended

So this Wednesday, I successfully defended my dissertation, the culmination of three years of writing and research, and eight years of graduate school. It's a pleasant, but almost surreal feeling: in a few weeks, for essentially the first time in my life, I won't be a student. And it only took three decades to get to that point!

Here are some fun facts about my dissertation for you:
  • It consists of an introduction, seven chapters, an appendix, and a bibliography.
  • As originally proposed, it had only four chapters; some material was dropped from the project, while the original proposal's Chapter 3 was split into Chapters 2, 4, and 7 in the final version.
  • The current total word count is 107,600 including front matter, end notes, and bibliography; this comes out to 332 pages in double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins.
  • Omitting all the malarkey brings it down to 93,460 words.
  • The average chapter is 38 pages long; the shortest two are each 20 pages, while the longest is a whopping 70!
  • Some material in the project dates back to Spring 2010, which I wrote for the final paper in the seminar where I first began to want to create this project.
  • There are 215 items listed in the 21-page bibliography.
  • There are 88 end notes, which comes out to an average of 11 per chapter (if you count the introduction as a chapter).
  • The project covers 17 different novels, which is too many and probably why this thing ended up so long. Two chapters cover one novel apiece; one chapter covers two; and four chapters cover three apiece. (The introduction also covers one.)

And this is it:

Double-sided, and minus the first few pages because they seem to have walked off.

Of course, I'm not entirely done-- there a typos to fix and minor edits to make-- but I'm almost there. Commencement, here we come!

Here's a little flowchart I made of how the project mutated over time. The top row is the chapters and texts as they existed in my original proposal of May 2013. (The ones in orange I never wrote about at all.) The middle row is the breakdown as it existed about six months ago; the bottom row is how it goes now. As you can see, there was a lot of splitting, a lot of rearranging, and far too much adding.