Hello all! I meant to let everyone know how my paper was going earlier, but as I keep writing, the problems I am facing keep changing. The very first thing that tripped me up was deciding exactly how I want to present my main sources. I have quite a few plays that I am working with, and I believe that I want to show them in chronological order. There are some secondary sources that I am working with, however, that relate two works to each other which will now not follow each other in the order of my paper. Its a little disappointing because I was hoping these sources would provide a bit of threading for me as I move from one work into another. I don’t think this will be a problem though. As I have continues writing, I actually think its good that they are a little spread apart. The “callback” to a previously discussed work makes it look like its not my secondary sources that led me from one primary source to the next (which they didn’t), but rather like these works are supposed to to discussed together in this way. It just looks like these other critics are even more on my side (I hope).

Additionally, I have done some interesting things that I didn’t know I was going to do. The biggest change I have made is not discussing Hamlet and Macbeth separately. I have decided to put the under a kind of Shakespeare subheading because, if I am going to have a chronological framework they are only written about three years apart from one another by the same playwright. They don’t show a lot of “change over time” so I’m putting them together and having them represent Shakespearean time in general. I think this is a good move also because I did not have a ton to say about Macbeth, but what I do say will help the rest of my paper. Putting it together with Hamlet will make it look like its not just thrown in there.

My last concern is that after having written a pretty long introduction, I think I have a thesis? I’m pretty sure I make a claim at the end of my introduction, but I’m not sure how entirely profound or clear it is. I keep scrolling up to my first page and just staring at it until I get frustrated and go back to writing. I’m sure this will be something that I will play around with in revisions.


  1. Oh, one last thing! I’m still reading some of my sources so I’m not putting them in my paper (yet). I’m a little concerned that when I want to insert them later they will disrupt the flow of my paper. I usually just write straight from the introduction to conclusion and have never added things in the middle so I’m a little concerned with how that will go. But, I have all you lovely people for advice, so I’m sure it’ll work out.

  2. Hi, Caitlin! I think everything will turn out great! I’m also leaving some space for sources I haven’t quote gotten my hands on yet, so we can figure that out together when the time comes. It sounds like you’re doing well! It’s awesome that you’re figuring out some really important parts of your paper. I had a similar issue, especially because I’m kind of putting together two conversations– one about mental illness over time and another about film, so I finally decided that I should put the mental illness part first in my analysis in order to understand the film part. I’m proud that you even got to your introduction! I’ve been avoiding it, and I’ll probably get to it last just because it seems the most daunting. But keep going! I like your idea of subheadings (whether actually having them or just having them in your head), and I’m definitely doing the same. Right now, I have actual ones with pretty unscholarly titles like “Michelle, talk about mental illness here” or, my favorite, “everybody dance now!” for when all my parts come together. I need to change those before I send the draft to you, though!

    1. Hahaha, oooh no keep those subheadings in for me! I’m going to need a few good laughs by the time I’m done writing my own paper! My subheadings are in my head for the time being, but having them is definitely helping. My introduction, as it turns out, is pretty representative of the rest of my paper. Everything I’m writing is long and there is a lot of information. I am sure that I will need to trim some of the fat from my paper during revisions, but I’d much rather have too much and trim than have too little and have to add a lot. I just don’t want my audience to feel like they’re drowning in my paper (if that makes sense).
      I’m happy to hear that you were able to get past the problem you were having with the order you wanted to place your topics in. It sounds like you made the right move. I think discussing metal illness first will help you crate a strong basis and set the stage for the conversation you want to start about film.

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