I am so dead in the water.
Research paper due Thursday.
Total words of paper written by 6 p.m. Monday: 0.
Okay, admittedly, I could write a lot between now and bedtime. And it’s only a five to six page paper, so that’s not very many words. But I was really hoping to be at least halfway through the first draft by now.
The problem is that my topic is multi-faceted, very complex. So I didn’t want to just sit down and start writing blindly. Instead, I did this thing that I learned in high school called “writing practice”…though at this point, I’m not positive that what I recall it being is what it actually was. Anyway, what it boils down to is thinking in text form, just pouring out words to assemble–or at least slightly un-jumble–your thoughts. Not unlike a blog entry, I suppose. Only less…um…processed for others’ comprehension. (Won’t make the claim that my blog entries are interesting, but a proper blog entry by a better blogger would definitely be more interesting than my writing practice for a paper.)
So I was doing that most of the day, trying to sort through precisely what I want my thesis to be for this paper, and then sorting over my primary sources, taking specific notes on what was in them that I would be able to use. (Many of them, after all, I read before I had even the roughest idea of what I would write this paper about. Especially given the syllabus simply says “Short Paper” for this week, and doesn’t make any mention of it requiring sources outside of the assigned ones.)
The only up side to any of this is that I feel like I did hammer out a pretty interesting thesis (the basic topic of “perceptions of the Other during WWII and the role of propaganda in those perceptions” being very vague and capable of generating hundreds–or thousands–of theses) so hopefully my paper will be the better for it. Also since I went over my primary sources already, hopefully I’ll spend less time swapping back and forth between them looking for the right quote as I’m actually writing the paper. Though I’ll probably spend a long time sorting between the secondary sources, so that may not help as much as I would have liked.
In other news, it’s very cold here. Just FYI.