To make this post not so boring, here’s a couple of pictures I put in my paper.
After meeting with my dissertation and adviser and prof., we decided to make the paper more focused and helpful for the dissertation. So the plan is now to have this become an introductory chapter. I have done plenty of reading on Albert Speer, and digging through some archival documents, and that will still be helpful and apply to this paper, but the focus will be different.
I definitely need more books, but the ones listed in the last post are a good start.
Oh, man. A lot has transpired since I wrote the above, three weeks ago. The title still applies, and even more so. I turned in my first draft with good reviews from the class, but significant changes required from my dissertation advisor. So much to write about, so many tips and tricks I’ve picked up.
Tips for writing a paper that I should have known already
- So, first of all meet with your professors often. This is essential to stay on target. Meet at every step: beginning and deciding on the topic; bibliography; outline; first draft; second draft; final draft.
- Make an outline! Man, why did I not do this more often in the past? This was a life saver in helping me formulate thoughts, figure out what was important and what was just an interesting tangent. One of the best benefits of an outline, I found, was that it made the reading more focused. Granted, it took a book or two to figure out what was important about the topic, but making the outline made reading the books easy. I didn’t have to plod through each book, cover to cover. Instead I sought out the parts of the book that helped fill in the outline. Awesome!
- Peer review. This was a required part of the course. We all got to read another classmate’s paper and critique/review it. It was neat to see how the reviewer always had some neat aspect or idea that really helped flesh out the topic even more. (I’ll blog about the awesome and pivotal ideas that Mark gave about my paper.)
So there are three good tips. Now I have some more-than-minor rewrites and additional research to do for the version of the paper for class, and some major rewriting and researching to do for the version for my dissertation advisor.