I have spent the past week comparing and contracting sources like a mad woman. I thought this warm up assignment was the most difficult because it required a lot of time to complete. Despite being challenging, it was super helpful in the process of inching towards my final product! In order to complete the assignment to the best of my abilities, I was forced to organize and reexamine nearly all of the sources I have found. I did quite a bit more research to discover new sources for the assignment as well–aside from the institutional sources I already needed to dig up. After going through my stockpiles of plastic bag literature, if you will, I weeded out the least significant, credible or timely sources. I then laid out those I planned to use on my dining room table, and read or skimmed through them. Next, I ventured down the dark alley of actually selecting which articles to compare and contrast my six “main” sources to. This was by far the trickiest piece to the puzzle. It took strategic planning to determine which source’s main assertions I could effectively compare or contrast my six main sources’ assertions to. It was also tough to keep in mind that I could only reuse each source twice–although I only reused a few.
Once I finished that process, I finally started to write. I found I was able to cruise through the writing without much difficulty, thanks to my decent job of preliminary sorting, planning and thinking. I had trouble keeping my paragraphs to an appropriate length because I found so much information to compare and contrast. I must keep that in mind when I start (in the very near future) to write the complete annotations. It will be a much tougher go if I fail to extract only the best main assertions or write in a succint manner. I seem to have reoccurring issues with writing in a tight and concise manner. Although I’ve already sworn wordiness the enemy, old habits die hard. So I will continue to appreciate the corrections and feedback I receive from the unfortunate souls I cajole into editing my paper.
Using in-text citations for the first time since the topic proposal was not a big deal. At first It was difficult to incorporate them in a seamless manner. But the more I worked on the assignment, the more natural using in-text citations became. I’m also quite fond of the way APA style commands us to use in-text citations as opposed to MLA format. This is because APA allows writers to place in-text citations any where inside of sentences. I also think APA in-text citations signpost which source it represents more effectively than MLA in-text citations.
Overall, this assignment broadened my understanding of grocery bag policies because it combined so much of the information I have found. I am fairly confident in my ability to research and find quality sources. However, I am not as sure about my writing skills. So, the next chance I get, I would like to go to the writing center and hopefully work with Kelsey!
Now that spring break is upon us, it is time to get down to business. It appears I will continue to compare and contrast, among other things, like a mad woman.