I just submitted my last “content” chapter of my dissertation — Chapter 8: Deception and Multimodality. I have a feeling this is the chapter I’ll get the most mileage out of, since everybody loves a good story about deception on the Internet.
Now I just have to write a conclusion. How do you conclude an 8-chapter manifesto about the beauties and nuances of multimodality? Can I just write “Hope you liked it, goodbye!”? Or how about “I hope this gets you all nervous about using voice chat in online games”?
And where, oh where, do I put the “giving back” part of the ethnography? Usually this is the section where one talks about what they’ve given back to their community in return for the data that allowed them to write this document. Mine is, pretty much, “my love, and a safe space to play”. So where does it go? In the conclusion? As a post-script? Nowhere?
Eight months ago, I was worried about how to begin this thing. Now I’m worried about how to end it. It’s true what they say, that the writing is really the easiest part; the start and the finish are the hardest.