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Figuring out what I want to say–what’s important and verifiable with good research–is actually a bigger challenge of my dissertation project than anything else.  I’ve been advised by many that writing well is the hard thing, and to that end I’ve explored books and blogs on writing, visited the writing centre on campus, and fretted over the inadequacies of what I’ve written.

But even from the very beginning I’ve said I would like help developing my ideas, not fixing the mechanics of my writing.  Are these the most useful research questions?  How do I begin to do research on such a big topic?  What knowledge/books/articles am I missing that a veteran in my field would lean heavily on? The diss really is first and foremost a major research project, not a writing exercise, and editing won’t make the ideas any better.