Getting in Shape, Trimming the Fat….editing

I have changed the organization of my paper countless times. Well, no. Actually 8 times. It still isn’t exactly right. The problemĀ  with organizing the paper arises from all the different yet related topics that I explore in the paper. Originally I had wanted to write about the experiences of the first African American students who had enrolled at the College of William and Mary. However, their experiences were influenced by the College’s policies as well as the openness of the student body and faculty to integration. I have found a lot of information on these topics and I included them in my paper. It is just difficult to make the paper sound like one seamless work rather than a series of different papers mashed together. I don’t know if I need to just continue to work on the organization or if I should narrow the focus of my paper. I have submitted the paper to my faculty adviser for suggestions and I will continue to edit it.

Another problem that I have been having is determining how to cite the documents that I have consulted in my research. A lot of the resources I use are from newspaper databases and offer citations that I can export. However, these exported citations differ from the format in chicago style of items taken from a database. I have a similar problem with regards to the oral histories that I have used because they are interviews transcribed as pdf files from a special collections digital archive. I just don’t know what to do with it. Currently I have these formatted in Chicago style as I would cite an interview, but I include the transcription date and the url of the transcript. I was also not certain that I was citing the items that I used from Swem’s special collections correctly, but I emailed a Swem archivist and she graciously gave me assistance.

I still need to continue editing my paper, adding any necessary information, removing irrelevant information, and confirming that my citations are correct and making adjustments as necessary.


  1. elrudebusch says:

    Your project sounds very interesting! I would love to learn more about the first African Americans to attend The College.
    Editing can definitely be the hardest part of constructing a paper. I hope you have everything figured out now. Good luck!