Milestones in Research: From Reading to Writing

In this first full week of classes, I have met my thesis advisor to get the ball rolling for the completion of my project at the end of the semester! The most exciting milestone I have accomplished in the past few days is the major transition between the two main stages of my project: reading and writing. Beginning in the second half of the spring and all throughout the summer, I immersed myself in the works of William Carlos Williams as well as his scholars and critics. I read his poetry, short stories, novels, essays, letters, and more, while linking them with the theories and criticism of famous scholars whose writings on Williams helped me put his work in perspective as I formulated my own thoughts. Just this past weekend, I finished reading and note-taking on the final few books on my reading list—a huge accomplishment!

When I met with my professor after completing these readings, we discussed thesis and argument ideas, finally summing up my months of researching and brainstorming to shape my official “argument. I will write on the tension-inducing conflict between professionalism and emotion in Williams’s works that drives the doctor-patient relationship and shapes his medical narratives. We set up a schedule of due dates and checkpoints for the semester, and I am now officially ready to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) and begin writing my paper in earnest.

I am simultaneously nervous, excited, confused, proud, and apprehensive about jumping into the writing process. Synthesizing so many works by an author with accompanying criticism to capture all the complexities of a major claim will be a new challenge for me. I almost don’t know where to start! It is going to be a challenging and exciting time for me, and I’m sure that as my progress moves forward, I will learn and improve my writing skills, while also probably changing my thesis a bit along the way. Thanks for reading, and hopefully I will see you all and give some more updates at the Honors Research Symposium next week!

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