It feels as though my fellow classmates and I have made it past a milestone. We had spring break last week and most of us dedicated it to writing the roughly 30 pages for our Warm-Up Assignment No. 6. We now have seven annotations entirely done, although I’m sure there will be plenty to change in those annotations once we receive them with corrections next week.
This past assignment played a hefty role in preparing me for the assignments that have yet to come. I have a general idea of how long it takes me to write a full annotation now, and have learned tips and tricks to speed me along through the process. There is a definite strategy for going about completing annotations, and I’m sure each person’s is different. I find it best to finish all parts of the annotation one source at a time. I know other students like to go section by section for every source. But I discovered that examining one source at a time allows me to become familiar with that source, which makes it far easier to determine aspects of it that are strengths or can be compared and contrasted to other sources, for example.
I think I have finally reached the point where I am essentially done researching. Keeping an eye out for new stories regarding my topic in popular news sources such as The New York Times, or even local newspapers, is smart in case something relevant occurs. However, it is time to crank out those annotations and begin crafting my final essay.
Working on the seven complete annotations provided me with a sounder grasp on the issues surrounding plastic-bag reduction policies. I scoured over my sources so much that I would have had to try really hard to walk away from them without more knowledge. The more arguments, assertions, facts and figures from those assignments that I remember, the better job I will do with future annotations. The expertise I have on my topic will also allow me to formulate the precise political action that should be taken to reduce disposable-bag use. This will serve me well in my essay when I argue my opinion on the best way to eliminate environmental issues associated with plastic and paper bags.
So now I look onward to creating complete annotations for interviews, and churning out other annotations that will be due at the end of the month. I’d be lying if I said I felt on top of everything. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous for the hours of work that lay ahead of me. But I know that I will dedicate as much time and effort as I possibly can to get to that place of security, when I know that I am producing my best work. Meanwhile, I’ll be chanting those wise words from the little engine that could….