Time to get writing!

It has been a while since my last blog post, sorry for that! I had several posts half written but did not have the time to finish them in a timely manner – what good is a post about a conference that was two months ago? In the last few months I have been to a very good conference in Austin, enjoyed some excellent holidays in California, have been doing some labwork in Germany and have even been an invited speaker at a (small) meeting! Time has really flown past and the end of my PhD is drawing nearer…. this can also be observed at my coffee consumption:

My coffee consumption over the last half year or so.

My coffee consumption over the last half year or so.

As you can see from the plot, I (kind of) started writing up my thesis in November / start of December. The date that it all comes down to is

Friday the 1st of May 2015

This is when I am going to hand in my thesis (and also the day my funding runs out, what a coincidence!). It also means I have about 4 months to write my thesis and I thought it might be both entertaining (more for you than me…) and educating to write more regular blog posts during the next few months to keep you updated and myself organised.

So with four months to go where do I currently stand? The outline of my thesis, which is obviously going to be written in Latex, more or less stands:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Natural analogues for CO2 storage sites
  • Chapter 3: Structural controls of leakage of two sites
  • Chapter 4: Time constrains on leakage of one site
  • Chapter 5: Synthesis and conclusions

Three data chapters are kind of the minimum you can get away with, so I really hope that chapter 4, for which I do not have much data yet, works out! I have done some writing over the last year or so and at the moment I think this is how far I am:

  • Chapter 1: 65% written. Probably needs some updating with more up to date references which can be quite time consuming.
  • Chapter 2: 90% (mhm…). Well, it is in paper form (and the paper will somewhere be published. Soon. I promise!). I had to cut down the original version of the paper quite a lot so I think I have enough so it is mainly a copy and paste job.
  • Chapter 3: 30% written. Introduction & Methods are nearly done. Results are nearly all done so it is only a question of writing them up! Parts of the results are already in paper form so that might just need some rewritting!
  • Chapter 4: 0%. Well, make that 15% if I can copy the site description from chapter 3….
  • Chapter 5: 0%.

In addition, there is quite a lot of stuff I want to put into the appendix but that will have to wait. But I think overall it looks as if 4 month might be just enough time to produce an (here is hope) excellent thesis! I like (read “need”) deadlines, so here are some I set myself:

  • 12. January: Draft of Chapter 3.
  • 6. February: Draft of Chapter 2.
  • 1. March: Draft Chapter 1.
  • 1 . April: Draft Chapter 4.
  • 12. April: Draft of Chapter 5.
  • 19. April: Appendix done.

The early finishing of drafts should give my supervisors *plenty* of time to give me badly needed feedback and the public posting here (kind of public, hidden in the depth of the internet) puts some pressure on me to keep to those deadlines! There are some things that can help writing, structure is a big part of it but I think I will cover that in another blog post! That is it for now, wish me good luck that I manage it in time – I wish you a Merry Christmas and a good start into 2015!

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