Drafting the Exegesis


I have started drafting the Exegesis…and I was happy that I had mapped out a ‘table of contents’ kind of framework before the work began. But, in the past week or so that I have been writing, I have found that I needed to make a few changes to the chapter headings.

It’s all about relevance of course, and sometimes that little nine letter word can take you on quite a journey. But, making changes to the table of contents was “no big deal” I thought to myself. Ahha…I should have known better…it really has been a big deal and that’s turning out to be a very good for me. You see, I have been sort of working on an exegesis draft for a while, putting all the information into what I thought would be relevant chapters. The literature review, the methodology chapter, the introduction and of course, the conclusion, and a couple in between.

So, now that I am corralling my research (treasure-hunting) to date together I have found a couple of gems that I didn’t realise that I had. Moreover, I have now found myself in the position of having not one really important issue to discuss in my paper, but two. Interestingly though, in the process of all of the early drafting I had formed a particular view. I was aware that this was happening and I kept repeating to myself “make sure you are objective”. But life was about to get more interesting.

One of the little ‘gems’ was found by doing a close reading of a book chapter that I had already read some time ago, and realising that there was a throw-away sentence that really gelled with my project. It gave me another way to think about my research findings. This little throw-away sentence has ‘thrown up’ a really important question in relation to particular issues that cluster around female Irish migration that I am looking at, and the book chapter and author will be gratefully and properly referenced. What this has also done is shown me that I have at least one more reason that I can use in demonstrating the relevance of my research project. I am so grateful and life has become so much more exciting.

The process of reading, reading and reading, and then writing, writing and writing is one that works for me and I am someone who learns by ‘writing’. Not always easy, particularly on days when you look out of the study window and want to mow the lawns  (Is that procrastination by another name? No…of course not..silly me, its called gardening:)).  So, now as I sit down at my desk and open up the literature review section, or the methodology section, I start the work with a smile on my face. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have times when I think about how much I would like to jazz up this exegesis process, but I also know from experience, that I work best with a framework to back myself with, as well as, crash against now and then.

I would love to know if you have any treasure-hunting stories:)

have a great week!!






The discourse of Blam-olitics and the magic in the Exegesis

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The discourse of BLAM-OLITICS

I recently started a post saying that I wouldn’t normally discuss politics and then I went on the express my dismay at what was being said about the ‘Brexit’ vote. Since then, we have had our own election in Australia and there is quite some dismay about the ‘non-result’ result.

During this time I have been working hard on the Exegesis and it is starting to shape up nicely (at this stage), no doubt that will change but that’s okay, it’s an expected part of the journey. As this site is meant to capture the reflexive aspects of my project I have spent some time pondering why I shouldn’t discuss politics, or at least the political events that are impacting on my life at this time. It is through how I engage with these events that eventually impact on the choices I make for the novel and the scholarly paper. The current political environment is relevant to my study as I am looking at female Irish migration, the Irish civil service and the Irish political scene 1948-1954.

As I was listening to a couple of senior Liberals being interviewed on the radio this morning they were warning about the party ‘imploding’ before the results of the election were known, the first instances of the discourse of ‘blam-olitics’ I’m hearing today. Why would they come out publicly with those kind of statements…well it could be that the party is already ‘imploding’ and it is not hard to speculate about what is going on behind the scenes. During my period of research Ireland (Republic) underwent two elections and there was some vitriol being expressed both before and after…so it is relevant for me to take note of the emotions being expressed here in Australia, at this time.

Not long after the two senior Liberals were interviewed, the local and newly elected Labour candidate was interviewed and he was so gracious that his comments are welded into my brain. He thanked everyone who had supported him and said he would work for everyone in the region, including those who didn’t vote for him..so his ‘message’ was very inclusive. This has also been the tenor of Bill Shorten’s approach…inclusive and collegiate…so this is another instance of ‘blam-olitics’ because of the very strong contrast against the Liberal party discourse I have seen and heard in the last two days. Because the local Labour candidate had been interviewed, the radio station did the right thing and a local Liberal candidate in the next electorate was interviewed. And that’s when it started…the almost absolute discourse of ‘blam-olitics’ where…everyone and everything else was to blame, except the candidate and the party. My thoughts at the time were…”you still don’t get it…the people have voted and want their voices heard…and you are not listening.” Not a new phenomenon I would think!

So, the relevance of all of this is of course that I have mentioned the discourse of ‘blam-olitics in my novel already and also in the Exegesis…and now I can compare what is happening today with what I read in the newspapers accounts of the period of interest in my project, and think about what was going on behind the scenes way back then. It actually doesn’t matter whether or not what is happening in Australia today bears any semblance of what was happening in Irish politics in the South 1948-1954, but awareness of the variety of guises that the discourse of ‘ blam-olitics’ can take is very relevant for me.



Moving away from politics now I am in the middle of writing a short story. I found out about a writing competition recently and have been swirling an idea for a short story around the wine-glass of my brain since I read about it. Finally, as I had a lazy day yesterday because of staying up very late the night before to find out about the election results,  I thought..’.hey you need to do some proper work here and make a start on that story.’

So I did and I managed to write a paragraph. But for some reason I had  lost touch with the emotion connected with the story I want to write….and was left wondering why was it important to me and so what?

I left the computer, took Dougal doggie for a walk and came back and sat down at the keyboard again. Then it came to me…I really need to think about how to structure the story…and I went through a process of setting out paragraph headings.

Phew…once that was done, the words flew across the page and my fingers couldn’t keep up with them. Now I have much of the  story written…what’s so important about that you might well ask? Well for me, it will be the first time I have used the methodologies I have learned for writing up the exegesis and transferred them to my creative writing. The big surprise for me was that it worked…I was able to stipulate exactly what emotions I was drawing as they are a very important part of the story…a character really. I think that taking a more organised approach to my creative writing is what gave my mind the freedom to let go and just ‘write.’

I hope you have a good week.

kind regards