‘Operation GTFO’ – How to condense information for introduction chapters

It is time for the next blog in the ‘operation gtfo’ series.

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When you are nearing the end of your thesis you need to start writing those pesky introduction chapters. We often put these off for as long as we can because a) we have lots of other things that need to be done and b) we don’t want the information to be outdated by the time the thesis is submitted.

However, it is important that we do start writing them 6(ish) months out from submission because they take longer than you think (gross I know!)

One thing I found challenging when I first started writing chapter 1 was finding a way to condense information from multiple research articles into a few succinct and interesting paragraphs.

After a few days of struggling and procrastination I found a way to organise information from multiple articles that was easy to visualise and helped me think about how to pull the information together.

I made a colour coded document split up into a few headings which were important for my chapter (yours might be completely different). I had ‘aims’, ‘sample demographics’, ‘findings’ etc. Each article that I read was allocated a different colour. For each article I went through and put information under each heading in the corresponding colour. E.g. I found that aim of each and put them under the aim section.

By the end I had a colourful document filled with information from 7 articles spilt into various relevant sections. This made it easy to start comparing the articles, pull out similarities and differences, and identify clear patterns. Therefore, rather than discussing each individual article (kind of like a repetitive list) I was able to discuss interesting and important findings from multiple at once.

If you are interested in using a similar strategy drofwhat guide to guide you.

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