Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Dealing with deadlines
Some timely advice from The Craft of Research, by Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, and Joseph Williams, p. 186:
Deadlines always come too soon, leaving us longing for another month, or week, or even just one more day. (The three of us fought deadlines for this book, when we first wrote it and again with this edition.) In fact, some researchers seem never to be able to finish; they think they have to keep working until their report, article, dissertation, or book is perfect. No such perfect document exists, ever has, or ever will. All you can do is to make your report as complete and as close to right as you can, given the time available. When you do that, think to yourself:I may need to start repeating that last paragraph as a mantra to myself.After my best efforts, here is what I believe to be true--not the whole or final truth, but a truth important to me and I hope to you, a truth that I have supported as fully as time and my abilities have allowed, so that you might find in my argument good reason to consider, even to accept it, and perhaps even to reconsider what you believe.