Beginning the Writing Process

The paper-writing process is something which was taught to me from a young age. In my middle school, my teachers allowed me to write long, grammatically incorrect stories, but I was able to learn how to get my ideas down. I have found those experiences useful when starting this paper. I approached this project from a story angle. I decided to use my outline to guide myself through the story I wanted to tell, assuming the history part would come in naturally. This focus brought on comments saying I needed to focus more on scholarly background, which I have since included but not fully melded with my story.

So far, the experience has been primarily satisfying. Being able to sculpt an interesting story out of a pile of documents has been highly rewarding, though time-consuming. Visiting the archdiocese archive was a great experience as I found “diamonds in the rough” in the form of valuable sources among piles of old letters. What I have found frustrating is balancing the desire to tell an interesting narrative story with the use of scholarly sources and reviews of past literature. I am sure, however, that once the first draft is done, I will be able to insert these parts more appropriately.

I feel like my ideas have remained primarily the same. The sources informed the story I wanted to tell from an early date, and that has not changed much. The only part of my paper which continues to evolve is the addition of scholarly sources and sociological research.

Dr. Winling’s talk reminded me of the importance of including graphs and images for people who prefer visual learning. However, I found at several points in his talk that I struggled to read the slides or understand what they were trying to say. I will be sure that any images or graphs have clear markings denoting what they picture and what different colors symbolize.


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