Thesis Progress

I’m finding that writing a thesis is a bit different than what I am accustomed to writing. I have written a good many exegetical papers and feel quite comfortable writing them, but my thesis is only partly exegetical, so it’s proving to be a bit more of a challenge (a good thing to be sure).

My thesis will be comprised of five chapters. I’ve begun on introdcutory matters, which are divided into four subsections, and have written right around 1,100 words thus far. I hope to keep the first chapter at about 1,500 words so that I leave plenty of room for chapters two-four, which will be the meat of the thesis. I have a 10,000-word limit (*correction: that should be 12,000), so I’ll have to be careful to say enough well rather than maxing out my limit unecessarily.

Anyway, more updates as they come.

Αυτω η δοξα

10 thoughts on “Thesis Progress

  1. 10,000 words is seriously short. My last chapter (of five) was just under 16,000, and I was fighting to keep it from going longer. If you feel like you want to do more, I’ll trade with you.🙂

  2. Mike and Carl: Not sure why I thought the limit was 10,000–the thesis is capped at 12,000 words, so that leaves me a little more wiggle room. This is not the dissertation for my degree, though. I have to complete this to finish stage 1, which I explain here. My dissertation at the end of the program must be 50-75,000 words, so obviously quite a bit longer. This will serve as a good warm-up, as will the longer papers I have to do in the future.

  3. Hi Jason.

    I feel your pain. I’m hoping to write a book this year and have been confronted with the vast difference between writing a short exegetical paper, sermon, assignment and something that is 30,000 words.

    Btw, what is your thesis on?

  4. Craig: The good thing is I have several months to write and no other papers to compete for attention. My thesis will be an investigation into what extent Jewish apocalyptic literature influenced Paul’s view of death (and consequently resurrection) in 1 Corinthians 15.

  5. Great to hear that the final dissertation is closer to “normal” length, although 50-75k words is still on the short side. Just out of curiosity: does that final word-count include or exclude the works-cited/bibliography page? With regard to your topic, you might want to check out (if you haven’t already) Alexandra Brown’s Cross and Human Transformation (1995) and Matthew Malcolm’s, “Paul and the Rhetoric of Reversal” (PhD diss).

  6. Carl: 75K on the short side? Wow! The final word count will exclude the bibliography, which is good because I am already up to nearly six pages biblio and I will probably end up with 8-10 (I’m speaking of my thesis, not the future dissertation). And thanks for the suggestions. I’ll look into the volume by Brown and I have obtained a copy of Matthew’s dissertation–any other suggestions are always welcome!

  7. You’re rather fortunate to have the bibliography excluded from your final count; ours is 80k words, including the bibliography. And with my bibliography being what it is (i.e. around 15 pages), that brings me closer to your 75k, which is why I’m claiming “short”.🙂

    Another reference hit me yesterday that I failed to mention: Barry Matlock, Unveiling the Apocalyptic Paul: Paul’s Interpreters and the Rhetoric of Criticism (JSNTSup 127; Sheffield, 1996). It’s an incisive look at how scholarship has used the category of “apocalyptic” when reading the NT, especially Paul’s letters. As a bonus, it’s quite a funny read at times.

  8. Carl: Thanks for the clarification–I was beginning to think you were writing a tome for the ages! And thanks for recommending Matlock’s book–I picked it up just a few days ago. Glad to know it’s sprinkled with humor!

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