Research is probably the most important part of the paper writing process for me. Finding the information relating to your topic is crucial. It offers you the ability to not only understand your topic better, but also support it better in your writing. You can even take direct quotes from the sources in which you found your information that relate to your argument and help you to convince the reader. If you don’t fully understand your topic it becomes more difficult to get your point across to the reader. This can lead to a poorly formatted paper with odd phrases that don’t quite fit. It could also lead to the use of information that is not important to the topic, which distracts from the main point of your paper, making your writing seem unfocused and jumbled.
When I research a topic I stat out very general and read information that will give me a better idea of my topic. Then I use the information I learned from my preliminary research to find more in depth information. I quickly read through each information source and decide on a few that will best support my argument. I then begin to read through more carefully, pulling out important facts and quotes. When I begin to plan out my paper in an outline, I decide where each quote will fit and how it will support my original argument.
At this point in the process of writing my third paper I have completed the outline, works cited and first draft of my paper. First I decided what my opinion was of the film and broke down the different parts that I did and did not like. I focused on the themes, style and main idea of the film and decided which parts of each of those aspects that I enjoyed and why. I took notes on parts of the film that I thought was important and started looking for articles relating to The Tree of Life. I then read through the articles and interviews and took notes on information I found to be relevant to my paper as well as quotes that I could include in my paper. After I completed my research and notes I started the process of outlining. First I decided on the structure of my paper and which order I would like to put my summary and review. I chose to first summarize the film and analyze certain aspects and then began to review it, giving more personal opinion. After I had decided the structure I began to add more detail to my outline, including which sources I would use where and what topics I would be discussing with brief examples. After that, all that was left to do was write my paper. I just finished writing the rough draft and I plan to finish two more drafts before handing in the final paper.
Any sort of writing is good practice for paper writing regardless of the style. However, writing poetry in particular can really enhance your writing skills. Poetry allows a certain freedom that paper writing does not. When writing poetry you can be far more creative and expressive in a less formal setting. You can then introduce this writing style or one that is similar into your paper writing tactics. This allows for more creative and interesting papers. In addition to the creative benefits there are also structural benefits. Your sentences may flow better and the overall structure of your paper will most likely improve. Experimenting with many different styles of writing is crucial to a writer’s growth. The more you write, the more you develop as a writer.
I don’t write poetry often and was never required to do much poetry writing in high school but I found with this assignment that the more creative I was in my poetry the more creative I have been able to be in writing the most recent critique paper. I did not have as much difficulty getting my point across in a way that was interestingly written. I used the strategy of writing out what came to mind first and then editing it later. My thoughts were not as forced and I found it a lot easier to get through the writing process, which is usually the part that I find to be the most difficult. I think that the strategy I used to write my first draft of my critique will come in handy for future papers.
Poetry is a written form of self-expression. Many poets use their work as an outlet to express things that they find difficult to express any other way. There is no single accepted formula for poetry. It can range from very structured to very loose and flowing. Poems can come in the form of a ballad, sonnet, free verse, acrostic, haiku, limerick and many other types. Using many poetic devices such as rhyming, repetition, metaphors, and imagery poets can express their views and emotions. Poetry is intended to entertain the reader, tell a story, express emotion or convey an opinion. It is really up to the poet to decide what style they wish to write in, what devices they use and what they express.
I believe that poetry is a very important part of the arts but I personally do not enjoy using writing poetry as a form of self-expression. I find it difficult to write poetry because I am more comfortable expressing myself artistically through art. I like reading poetry and enjoying it for its interesting ideas and subtle references. Very often I find poetry to be confusing until I break it down line by line and read it a few times. Once I have a grasp on the main concept I really enjoy reading poetry and becoming familiar with a poet’s style. Although poetry is not my favorite subject to cover I think it is important to understand the basics.
The most recent assignment has been my favorite so far. I liked doing research and pulling quotes from different sources. As for the thesis, I didn’t really it find it difficult to develop. I’ve had a lot of practice writing thesis statements in high school. I knew how specific a thesis should be and I quickly figured out what I wanted to write about. I chose to write about the connection between the lack of a father in King’s life because I knew I could easily make connections to Jack Torrance in The Shining. With the amount of research I did and the variety of quotes I found in Stephen King’s novels I was able to write the first draft of my paper quickly and with ease. The only thing I had left to do was edit my drafts. Overall this particular assignment went pretty smoothly for me.
Even though I went into class knowing how to write a thesis, I found the in-class demonstration of the process of developing a thesis to be very helpful. I was able to look at the thesis I had written and be confident in the fact that it fit the guidelines you had set. I knew that I was prepared to write a fully developed paper with examples and quotes to support my thesis. I don’t really have any questions about thesis statements other than; “Can a single thesis statement argue more than one point, or would that make a paper seem disorganized?”
I don’t have a specific place that I sit while I read or write. Stephen King’s writing space is simply a desk in the corner of his basement. He calls it his far-seeing place. When I write I need my writing space to match my particular mood and writing style for that particular assignment. Sometimes I read or write sitting up in my bed. I do this when I’m ready to focus on something for a long period time. For shorter writing assignments or books that I don’t intend to read for more than an hour at a time I like to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a warm blanket. If I have a really short writing assignment or a short passage to read I will bring a notebook with me wherever I go and write a little bit at a time throughout the day. I did exactly that for this blog assignment.
I find that as my atmosphere changes, so does my writing style. If there are a lot of people around while I write my final product turns out light and sometimes unfocused. If I am by myself in a quiet room my final passage turns out too focused and almost harsh. When I write alone with music on my final passage usually turns out to be a happy medium of light but focused. Sometimes there’s even a little humor involved. Even though I don’t have a specific writing space I always find a way to make myself as comfortable as possible when I’m reading or writing.
King tells the reader on page 157 “Don’t wait for the muse. As I’ve said, he’s a hardheaded guy who’s not susceptible to a lot of creative fluttering.” I really enjoyed this particular advice from King. I was glad to see that he doesn’t wait for creativity to hit him. He works until it does. It’s similar to waiting for a door to open for you when you could easily open it for yourself. I like that he is realistic when it comes to his writing.