Papers and other papers

My favorite part of being in school, second only to the readings (usually), is writing the big paper that generally comes at the end of an English class.  This semester, I have a paper due in my research class where I have to detail a critical analysis of one literary work using five approaches (like feminist, reader-response, etc.).  The other class, which is about teaching and assessing writing, requires a proposal that I honestly haven't even thought about – yet.

Anyway, I've started on this big paper now because the background reading and research is going to be fairly extensive.  For example, the sample paper our teacher put up is 14 pages long, with 3 of those pages being the works cited list.  Yeah – lots of reading!  I originally chose Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale as my title of choice, mainly for two reasons:  first, I love that book, and secondly, I have A LOT to say about it.  It's a complex, thoroughly enjoyable read, and I knew for sure I could get 14 pages or more easily.  
I sort of ran into a problem yesterday, though; I realized that one of our textbooks, which details various literary approaches and which we are reading slowly and not consecutively, has student essays on The Handmaid's Tale in the back of the book.  UGH!!  So, while my teacher gave me permission to go ahead with my paper as long as it was original, I just feel that it would be too close to some of the material to proceed.  
Today, mulling things over in the shower, I made a command decision – rather than let all my research up to this point go to waste, I am going to write a paper in hopes of having it published in an academic journal.  I have this idea about one aspect of the book that I haven't read any research on so far, so I think I'll keep going on my research as a side project.  How cool would it be to get something published?!  I'm pretty excited about it!
I'm going to use Passing by Nella Lawson for my class paper instead.  I know, if you're Laura Whitley & you're readinghis, we read both those books in Ingram's class.  What can I say?  I loved every book she assigned!  This book is fairly short, which is a bonus when you have a deadline, and not quite as famous as The Handmaid's Tale (the amount of work written about Atwood's book is staggering, to put it mildly), so perhaps I can come up with some original ideas and challenge myself a little more.

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2 thoughts on “Papers and other papers

  1. I wrote a critical analysis of The Handmaid's Tale in college, too. I took a class where we had to write an essay that sounds a lot like what you're doing, and I chose Howard's End.

    Good times! I love reading.

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