How to use binder when majorly restructuring a thesis

I have a draft PhD thesis, but yesterday I realized that the central question around which it was organized did not fit my data and have thought of a much better question!! This means some drastic reorganization.
I have split the first draft into the sections I have used in the thesis, down to sub-sub chapter and written outlines for them all. The ‘data’ will basically stay the same, but the all the material needs to be reshuffled according to this new question, and new analyses need to be written.
The problem is, I can’t think how to structure the argument without rearranging the material, but I also can’t really rearrange the material without knowing how to structure the argument!
What is the Scrivener approach to tackling this restructuring? Should I duplicate the current draft, move it to the research folder then copy and paste bits back into the now blank draft folder, all the time checking for how it flows and taking snapshots? Thank you! :smiley:

Index cards!

I would take a snapshot of the draft as it is now, then use the index card view of the Draft folder–together with document splitting as needed-- to reshuffle to my heart’s content.


Best thing to do is select the Draft item in the binder and duplicate it. Verify you have a complete copy if your current arrangement, and then stash it aside with a dated name or something. Now work on the Draft to your hearts content and if you cannot find an arrangement that suits you, you can just remove the contents of the Draft, and then replace it with the old mirror copy you made.

Obviously, when doing this you’ll want to make sure you keep content edits to a minimum, as you’ll need to carefully mirror all changes to the backup draft as well.