How I got through last night’s response paper

I’ve been wanting to write this since last night.

Earlier this afternoon would have worked, except I have found out that my main station is only partially functional due to a screwed-up Windows Update which occurred before I fell asleep last night.  Said update disallowed me from turning off my mobile device, and probably kept me up after 2 AM, as I didn’t really wake until about 1:30 PM today.  (I’m fairly certain that the update corrupted some of my files on my main device, as the one I’m using is fine.)

So I’m kind of irritated.  Not to mention that it’s been hot and sticky all day today and yesterday; I took a shower last night and probably haven’t been dry, ever since then.  I have, however, been wet enough that I still just smell like sweat instead of stink.

Most of today, I’ve been in bed, waiting for the malware and antivirus scans to finish.  I am also encountering, and editing, for the first time, the underlying system of my computer.  Not that I particularly know what I’m doing…and yes, it is making me want to vent, but my frustration isn’t particularly anything that any of you can help me with.

The positive part of yesterday was realizing that I do indeed have a way of working with, at least, short papers.  The submission was probably a bit late.  I know I didn’t complete all of the assignment, but I did at least conquer the main part of it.  It was on a reading (a journal article, really) which I thought I’d read before, but couldn’t remember.  I initially thought it was on a different article, which I had finished reading over the weekend; but no, no that was a different one.

So I printed the appropriate article out and took it to work with me.  Over the course of about half an hour, I was able to re-read it and highlight areas which I thought stood out and/or were relevant to the prompt (which I had also printed out).  After I got home, I was able to take those highlights and write a quick outline of what I had noted on the paper — in the order that it was in, in the journal article.  This was largely without complete complex words; I was working under a time limit, and really no one cares if I write “info” instead of “information” every time I see it.  I know what I mean; I will only have to know what I mean for three hours, max., so it’s OK.

Then I saved this, and copied over the contents into a different document.  There, I started rearranging the material from my notes from the reading.  The reading itself was really not organized in a manner to make a point, very well.  It was comparing information literacy outcomes between a control group and an investigated group.  It was much easier to deal with by actually grouping all the given data for each group together, instead of scattering it throughout the paper, which is how it was given in the reading.

What I did at this point was start writing at whatever point felt comfortable, instead of trying to tackle the Professor’s questions in the same order as she proposed them.  I also wrote page numbers on my printout (there were none in the file) and began to pull data from the article and put it into my own text, with page numbers corresponding to where in the article I got the data from.  Just organizing the given data helped; it meant that I didn’t have to overly think about what the authors were trying to say; I was just repeating their findings.

Using the information this way allowed me a more birds-eye view of what the intended message was of the source text, and it made it a lot easier to write.

In the end, I ended up with a submission which was about one page long, single-spaced, which appeared more academic than most of what I saw of the other submissions.  The only two other things I could have done were give an APA citation of the article at the end, and state when the article was written, in the introduction.  I also did miss some observations that some of my classmates made, likely due to my process (some elements in the article did not stand out to me as relevant details, though they likely were).

In any case, the actual writing, from cataloging notes to finishing, took about an hour and a half.  I had been thinking about letting this assignment go (I think it is worth only 2-3 points), but I’m glad I wasn’t intimidated away from writing it.  It taught me a lot about my writing style and study style, and how to prepare.  And I was initially thinking that doing it would be difficult.  But I found out that I can be a little powerhouse, when I want to be.

I have been doing some work on the alternate blog, but I couldn’t bring myself to put this there, not yet.  The question of where to host my content was overriding the drive to write the content, so I just told myself I’d put it here.  For now.

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paintedstone

Haru ("Codey") is a second-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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