Research Updates

What progress have I made with my research paper? That’s a terrifying question to ask a week before it’s due. I don’t know what progress I’ve made. It’s finals week. I don’t even know if I’ve slept recently.

My strategy for this paper has been to take advantage of the fact that it’s only a rough draft due and just rant and hope for the best. My sources are definitely coming together, which is very exciting. My paper seems to actually be progressing well and I’m enjoying writing it. However…

My frustrations are as follows:

  • I constantly switch back and forth between worrying that I’m writing too much to worrying that I’m not going to have enough to talk about.
  • I’m sick of hearing myself talking. I want the paper to stop being so long, so I can stop talking in my paper.
  • I’m still missing a book, which makes me feel like I’m wasting my time because what if the book I’m missing is magical and needs to be weaved into every paragraph I already wrote?
  • I’m not so confident I have enough information on the aesthetics of horror and shockingly, on gothic literature itself? Like it’s really hard to find helpful sources on that (this is why I need that magical missing book).
  • I feel like my paper is structured weirdly.
  • I’m using a book by Stephen King and he talks so much. I’m almost as sick of hearing his voice, as I am mine.

I don’t think I write with a conscious awareness of Gaipa, Walk, Hayot’s strategies. I think my best and most helpful strategies right now are: try to write a little bit every night (even if it’s just a small paragraph), organize my thoughts, and try and make the paper easy to read (not dull). However, I’ve definitely been doing a lot of Gaipa’s piggybacking. I’m finding that helpful.

Nonetheless, I’m excited to see where this paper takes me and if I’ll emerge alive (I’m kidding. It’s really not that bad. I’m getting there).

2 thoughts on “Research Updates”

  1. Zahava, first of all, your anxious post is somehow really artistic. I mean, I wish my panic sounded this good! You mention that you feel that things are coming together. That’s excellent! You’re writing a little at a time, are getting a feel for your sources and pacing, and I’m just really proud of you! I wouldn’t worry so much about voice.
    You’re annoyed at the writing process. I understand, and can only suggest one thing that got me through a paper that I absolutely detested myself in: try thinking of it as creative writing, and try to write in another voice for a few paragraphs consciously. It helped make me aware of my own voice, and broke things up a bit. Unfortunately, I forgot to take out the section where I had written in the voice of Hemingway, and my professor commented on the dryness of that particular set of paragraphs.
    To be completely honest, you’re overworked, overtired, and you just need to get through a tiny bit more before you’re finished for the time being. Just try to get your main points together, don’t worry so much about the book (is there any way to get it online?), and if you do find hat you need this magical source, there’s no rule against revision. Hold on there. You are amazing, and your finished paper is going to be amazing too! Be well, and good luck!

  2. This post made me laugh (with you, not at you). These sound like common writing frustrations. Just keep in mind that it’s a draft so you don’t need to have it all worked out. You don’t need to have all the answers. You’re making something you’ll be able to work with, revise, restructure, refine, etc. It sounds like you’ve made a lot of progress. That’s great.

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