Crunch Time!

Last time we talked I was in a bit of a jam.. I had just finished the summary, abstract, and keyword search, but still had so much work to do on the evaluation. And by “so much” I mean literally ALL of it–as in I didn’t even have a game plan for what I was going to write about!

In addition to this conundrum, I was getting worn down… which turned into complete sickness to the point where I could barely think straight or stay awake! On top of that, the clock was ticking down and I still had to write the evaluation, which was the most important and difficult part of the entire essay (just my luck). AND I had to complete my peer review on my partner’s paper, get her comments back, revise my own essay, and do my other homework. Talk about stress! It took a lot of focus and determination, but somehow I actually managed to pull it off!

After taking some deep breaths (and taking a quick break to eat cheesecake at a friend’s birthday party down the hall), I cracked down on getting this paper written once and for all! I sat at my desk in my Bergstrom Hall dorm room and began to make an outline of my thoughts (hoping that, in my sickened daze that they made any sense). Looking at the random ideas I had typed, I then decided on my topic from the common theme that seemed to have appeared in my notes. From there, I drafted my thesis. This was very difficult to do, because, it was challenging to determine my exact idea and communicate it clearly in my thesis and throughout the rest of my essay. After that my writing began to flow and after a couple of painstaking hours… voilà! The first draft of my essay was ready to be peer reviewed.

Overall, I had a little bit of difficulty with this paper,  because as I said before I was super tired and stressed, as well as not entirely sure how to write the evaluation itself in the first place. In retrospect, writing the paper would probably not have been such a laborious task if I had managed my time better. I am hoping I did well on the assignment, and that my essay met the objectives. However, at this point–while I did my best under the circumstances–I am not 100% confident that my paper will come back from Professor Pennington as ink-free as last time. All I can do now is wait and see what revisions need to be made!

To see my Summary and Evaluation Essay Process Portfolio, click here.



Summary, Abstract, and Keyword Search–Oh My!

I have now finished taking notes on the articles and writing my summary, abstract, and keyword search. This process took much longer than I anticipated, because each article was very complex and needed to be boiled down into succinct and simplified summaries. Even as someone who enjoys writing longer essays, this was still both a blessing and a curse. While it was convenient to not have to spend my time writing three full, separate essays on each article, each step ended up still being quite time-consuming, whereas I needed to not only use different skills for each part but also figure out how to correctly write each section and format them. In addition, I needed to be able to effectively summarize a large amount of complicated information into a condensed form–this takes time!

I have also hit that point in the year where all my work is piling up, I’m totally off schedule, and am getting sick from being run down from trying to balance schoolwork with other commitments. I feel equal urges to be productive and get massive amounts of homework out of the way AND to just sleep. So, this should be fun!

If anything from this assignment, I have discovered that I need to use my time much better and be more productive in order to avoid procrastination and this draining build-up. While not technically a literary skill that most people would choose to blog about, I still think this is relevant to the writing process. Writing while stressed is kind of like driving while intoxicated–it’s hard to focus and see clearly what is in front of you. This is definitely not my preferred way to write, especially since I usually love writing assignments and complete them with ease. Welcome to college, I guess!

Next up, I will work on my evaluation of Eagleton (oh boy)!


To see my Summary and Evaluation Essay Process Portfolio, click here.


Summary Preparation

I began preparing for my summary of Eagleton, abstract of Iser, and keyword search of Graff by rereading the articles and taking notes. I highlighted the main points, key words, and potential quotes. Armed with a new understanding of the meanings of the texts (thank you Dr. Pennington for throwing us a bone in class and explaining the main points of the essays to guide us), I was able to pull out the meaning of the text and more fully understand the authors’ claims. Reading very carefully and dissecting their arguments, I was then able to outline in my notes the main topics I would need to write my summaries for each author. I started working from big to small, beginning with Eagleton and writing the summary, then tackling the abstract of Iser, and finally the keyword search of Graff.

Reading these articles seems simple, but it is in fact VERY time-consuming. I am beginning to discover that writing takes a major dedication of time and focus. That probably explains why that guy at the school bookstore told me not to make any plans for the rest of the semester when I told him I was taking Lit 305. Perhaps it was an omen?


To see my Summary and Evaluation Essay Process Portfolio, click here.