Almost There

It’s just the finishing touches now, the last few edits here and there. I’m making sure all my citations are correct, and everything is in place. Aside from that, I am finished.

I think the hardest part of this research project is putting all the information into a logical argument. I did weeks of reading both primary and secondary sources and found a myriad of information. Some of it was incredibly interesting and not pertinent enough for my research. Others were confusing and yet could become key points of evidence. Nevertheless, it was daunting facing so much information and try to make an argument out of it.

The other hardest part was staying on track. During the course of this project, I came to really admire Margaret Fuller, one of the other female writers to whom I compared Alcott. She was bright, misunderstood, strong, and passionate. However, the more I admired her, the more I found myself veering off track in my essay.

On the other hand, the most enjoyable part was also gathering all the information. It’s fascinating to go into a research project and discover how much there is in the field. Even if not everything ends up in the paper itself, the process in and of itself is really educational and rewarding. It’s also satisfying to come up with a question and then proceed to answer it yourself, rather than just reading one person’s commentary and take their word for it.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, and am very grateful to have had this opportunity.

Comments

  1. katiannamarie says:

    I’m working on Sarah Hale this Summer and I’m going through some of the same ups and downs! It’s so great to see that other WM students are also discovering just how much information there is out there that we would never have known if we didn’t have this time to research it! Also, it is so great to be able to make your own argument, like you said, instead of just reading secondary sources! Really looking forward to hearing what you argue about Fuller (and hearing about some of the thoughts you had when “veering off track” — sometimes those are the best thoughts!).

  2. You mention how daunting it is to compile masses of information and make an argument about it. What techniques did you use to pick the right sources that would complement your argument the best? I often find myself trying to include every source even when I know it might take away from the argument I am trying to convey.

  3. anhenshaw says:

    Even in other fields I think it’s easy to run into the problems you have described. It seems like the more I research, the more questions I have and the more avenues that are available to pursue. It’s amazing how one topic can explode in so many directions. I ran into the same problem; some of the sources I found seemed to be incredibly important and pertinent, yet were also incredibly hard to fully grasp. I hope this gets easier as we gain more experience! I agree, staying on track is incredibly difficult sometimes, but gathering information is also rewarding. Sometimes things don’t go as expected though, so I’m really glad you got to find a satisfying answer to your question.