Research Project Progress

I’m slowly but surely making progress on my research project. I’ve been mostly working on a graduate school interview I have tomorrow, but I’ve been trying to work on my thesis project as well. My project is overall really exciting for me to write. With all of my sources and the steps we’ve had to do (the proposal, annotated bibliography, and ballroom diagram), I also feel prepared and knowledgable enough to write and feel pretty confident (and motivated). I guess it’s not the worst issue to have, but my biggest problem right now is time. I’ve been trying to use any spare time I have to at least think about my project or try to visualize it, figuring out how my argument will develop. It’s just really hard with finals and my intense interview, which isn’t just an interview. I have an interview, sample lesson, group interview, in-person essay, and online essay all for tomorrow, and it’s been really stressing me out (especially because I have limited teaching experience and have to teach high school students). However, enough complaining. I think the best thing for me (which I have been using) is Hayot’s suggestion of writing a little bit a day. Days like today are hard for that, but even if I just go into my Google Doc and move things around or figure out how to not constantly repeat the differences between the film and novel and instead introduce analysis, I’m recognizing that as being on the right track.

Honestly, the best strategy for me has been using Professor Tougaw’s writing suggestions quite literally. I copied and pasted his suggested paragraph topics into my Google Doc and keep adding ideas and sentences bit by bit, categorizing what I want to say. I think that has been the hardest thing for me to tackle– I know what I want to say, and I know all of the information. How do I put all of it into words and paragraphs that have a progression and equip my readers to keep reading and understand what’s going on? This method has really helped with that. I’ve ordered and reordered the sections, and finally figured out that I need to first present the differences in the primary sources, then the current research, then my analysis of the differences within the primary sources, all before going into what I have to say. (I think. Things are still moving around.) I also categorized these prompts by my desire to do them (aka their difficulty). For example, my introduction is last because I feel like it’ll be the hardest to write when I haven’t figured out what exactly I’m trying to introduce yet. Establishing the existing research and my primary sources (and my analysis) are easier, thanks to the prep work we did on the annotated bibliography and ballroom diagram (it’s all pretty much put together– I just needed it in sentence form). So progress is being made. I’m a slight wreck from everything going on this week, but I’ll survive. Writing this draft is actually my most exciting project of the week because of just how interested I am in the topic (and I’m looking forward to figuring out how to put all of my interest into words). I’m going to keep fleshing out these paragraph suggestions and I think that’ll also lead to more ideas as to what to do next. I hope everyone else is having a good week, and figuring out their process! Wish me luck for tomorrow!

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