redaction notes


write from the perspective of the reader (we don’t want to hear about the research process, we want to hear about the important things), but also keep in mind that the reader will have different expectations than me. in general, the first draft is for the writer and then progresses further to end up on a final draft made for the reader.

express the significance of the problem, the rationale for the thesis. we don’t know

find a way to express the big picture/problem without having all of the full context

breaking things down in parts forces us to treat all of them equally

every part of the thesis is then, to some extent, a re-iteration of those three things: context (e.g. literature review), problem and response

metadiscourse: the linguistics strategies deployed to manage the evolving relationship between writer, reader and text

motivation: i should write an informal document explaining why i’m down for this research


quick trip

basically an introduction to the introduction (abstract, with bit of context, bit of problem, bit of response)

the big picture


establish a research territory: what the audience needs to know in order to understand the problem you are going to confront. background material which should be familiar to the target audience; a refresher or primer on the topic—e.g. “over the past two decades, research in the field has focused on…”)

in my case, doesn’t have to be too extensive because the literature review will come later. but i should at least mention the best in the field, the most important references.

this is where the key definitions happen

and the boundaries

once i’ve established that, I can then move on to the gaps, which are going to lead naturally to my restatement of the problem and proposed solution. or maybe the gaps could already be in there

restatement of the problem

this doubles down on establishing the specific focus of the thesis

establishing a niche: what isn’t yet well understood, what i would like to understand/reveal/explain/explore/reinterpret/contest) and why it will matter to have done so. eg. “[topic] is still poorly understood/misinterpreted. knowing more about this topic will be helpful because of XXX

double-down on establishing significance: the significance is the requisite for the problem


occupying the niche: in order to adress this problem, i will…

elaborate on the response


how the thesis will proceed

the aesthetics of source code: idealistic. what are they? what are people saying about it? going through other aesthetics (lit, arch, craft, maths).

the stakes of source code as understandable text: why is it so hard? how is it affected by external factors? do aesthetics have anything to do with it (literary and tacit)?

the aesthetics of source code: practical. what is source code made of? structure, syntax, vocabulary. how does this relate to those ideals?

so far we’ve seen one context: use and intent of programmers. there is another context: tools. (“choosing the best tool for the job”)

programming languages, programming matters. why it is necessary to take languages into account.


the aesthetics of code as a dynamic, kinetic one (what are we dealing with = lit? then what do they do = arch?). craft and math as modulators. expressions and statements. code as layers, with the nature changing as we get deeper into the machine. the paradox of thought-stuff. language as formal, mechanical exploration

wrap up

intended readership

connect back to the wider world

clarify between source code and program text