All posts by Devon

Week 7.5 – 8

I am really struggling with the politics section!!!!!! I never would have imagined that this section would be so complicated????? Although politics in general tend to confuse me, so maybe I put myself at a disadvantage. I am blogging my frustration away (hopefully) because I feel I am stuck in a cyclic train of thought. Spoiler alert: apparently book banning is unconstitutional but legal. So it's like half and half. Yes and no. Very confusing. It doesn't help that everytime I try and get a slightly more definitive answer, all I get is linked to banned books week. And trying to cover everything without being repetitive is difficult. I feel like I should take a break, but I only have 3 pages. There is 1 sentence on page 4. I will be working from 12 to 10 for the next 2 days, then I have  class (and homework) on Tuesday. Then I work again, same hours, on Wednesday. And then my conference is Thursday. I really don't think I will be able to get 10 pages. I am really starting to stress about this. I know Dr. Zamora won't be mad, but I am usually able to make good on my promises (goals?). I don't think it has ever happened that I told a teacher or professor that I would have something done by a certain day, and then not have it. Will just try to buckle down even more.

Week 7 – 8

I have roughly 2.5 pages of my "politics" section written. I hope to have 3 either by the end of today (Thursday, 11/3) or by tomorrow night after work. I find myself struggling a bit. I have an idea of what I want to say, like a very vague sense of it, but I'm having a hard time finding the words. Unlike other sections, this part is not flowing so easily. Perhaps it is because I did not plan for this section as thoroughly as I did for the others. In all honesty, I didn't even think I was going to make it this far into the paper. Half of me believed I would have given this topic up by now. Especially considering how vague and shapeless it was when I first proposed it. Luckily, I don't think this section has to be very long. The way it's shaping up, I think I will max it out at 4.5 pages (and that's like absolute tops) and I can make up for the shortness in the "cyberspace" section. While gathering information for the current section, I have also simultaneously gathered a few pieces on internet censorship. I think that section will end up being longer, and rightfully so. The cyberspace section is the key to my whole thesis. It is the section that makes all my work relevant and worthwhile. It modernizes the issue, so it has to be compelling. I plan on exploring the legality of internet censorship while I'm at it. It is slow going, and I will try my best, but I do fear I won't make the 10 page limit I set for myself.

Week 6 – 8

My next conference is in 2 weeks, and I have a goal of 10+ pages. I am a bit nervous about this, as life has yet to settle down, and I have been taking more and more shifts at work. I also have a presentation in my other class on Tuesday that, shockingly, I have procrastinated on. However, I am almost done with it, and hope that once Tuesday passes, I can resume working on my thesis and can meet the 10 page goal. It shouldn't be too bad since I am dividing that 10 into 2 sections, so realistically 5-ish pages per section. That should not be too hard once I get the chance to sit down and really focus (though it feels like I have wasted the past week).

Week 6

Despite a lot of external setbacks (extra shifts at work, doctor's appointments, recent death of a family friend), I am on track for the 15 page limit I have set for myself. To my team and Dr. Zamora: I apologize for not getting my draft out sooner and for not returning any feedback on drafts I have recieved. It has been a very busy few weeks for me. Just when I thought things were slowing down, returning to normal, something else would come up. I am hoping November and December are do not follow suit, but at this point, I really couldn't say. I will also be sending out my draft through Google docs tonight. I am trekking along as best as I can, and I will definitely be at our conference tomorrow!

Week 3 – 5

I began reading that student paper that I mentioned in the last post, and I instantly regret it. It is very good. I am a bit intimidated, and I have decided to save it for a later date. I am nervous about reading what a peer wrote, and having it influence the direction of my paper too much. Sharing ideas and collaborating is great, but in this instance, it kind of feels like cheating to me, so I will hold off a bit more before giving it a serious read.

It has been slower going than anticipated. I have 11 pages, so I should be on track for my 15 page goal for October 20, but I thought that, by now, I would be in the middle of revisions, not still composing. But all is well as long as I keep moving.

Currently, I am working on "The Effects of 'No'", which is where I prove/disprove my thesis. I have found some evidence of support-- 1 article so far-- but obviously, I am going to look for more. Probably at least 3. In which, I will do a moderate-to-deep-analysis of the material. As of right now, I have 2 written pages about a portion of the material, and hope to write another 2. And then, after I find another 2 sources, I hope for 2 - 3 pages for each of those; totaling roughly 8 - 10 pages for  this section. I feel that is sufficient for the section that pertains the most and most directly to my thesis, although the first 9 pages have been building up to this.

After that, I plan to discuss the modernization of censorship. Internet server bans and the SOPA and PIPA legislations that never went through have recently caught my attention. I think this will be a good connector between the "old" and "new" issues of censorship, and that can segway into the political aspects I pal to discuss (specifically the right to speech and all that good stuff).

I am still on the fence about using APA or MLA. I am inclined to use APA because (1) I have already done a good chunk of the paper in APA because it didn't occur to me that that might not be suitable until recently, (2) my lit review is also in APA, and changing to MLA, I feel, would be like having to do a completely new lit review, and (3) I used it almost exclusively during my undergrad (psych minor), so I am more familiar with it at this point than I am with MLA (ironically). Dr. Zamora has recommended that I use MLA, given the topic of the paper and the tone MLA would set for it, but I am still conflicted over it. I feel obligated as an English major to use MLA, but in practice, I find APA so much easier. Also, given I am doing a research paper using only secondary sources and no research of my own, I feel that APA adds a certain authoritative feel to the work. That probably exists 99% in my own head, but it's where I am so far on the issue.

Finally, the website is coming along. The main issue I'm encountering here is the main menu design. Should I make a series of tabs and drop down menus? Or should I make it a walkthrough type site, where you have to pass through each section to reach the next? It is a non-issue, really. Basically I'm torn between this:

                                                                           
                                                                            or this:


Week 2 – 3 (continued)

I AM SO EXCITED I JUST FOUND A PAPER RELATED TO BOOK BANNING THAT DISCUSSES NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF IT.

This is so exciting. This is so great. I made a second blog post about it because that's how excited I am. I am a little nervous, because it is a paper done by a fellow student (SNHU) but I am still going to use it. I can't wait to see what a peer of mine has to say about the same topic! Maybe this will even lead me to some studies I can look up myself and use. Wowowow. Super lucky.

Week 2 – 3

A concern I've had in the past is prior research done in the field. Initially, I thought this meant in the literary field exclusively and frankly, I don't think there is any research on my topic done in this field. However, as I've been working, I have found studies done in other fields that support my thesis (kind of by proxy). Although I am still a bit concerned this is not enough, and I need to bring in some literary research, I am moderately confident the research I have already acquired will do (not to mention research I have not yet done).

I have one psychological study that tests psychological reactance and the forbidden fruit theory (which are two theories that explain why people tend to want things they can't have) that state restricting access to things makes them seem more valuable, and are therefore, more sought after. While this isn't in direct support of my thesis, it does support parts of my thesis. This is the kind of luck I'm having with finding research. However, I think if I find enough studies that support enough aspects of my argument, I can connect the remaining dots myself and come to a conclusion.

I am mostly done with discussing (what I've been referring to as) the psychology of no. Next I am planning on tackling why banning things is detrimental to psychological growth. This, I believe, is the main portion of my work. If I recall correctly, my paper is entitled "The effects book banning has on children and young adults." So this next section will be really important.

Following this section, just as a note to myself, are (1) other fields affected, (2) counter arguments and (3) [currently unsure].

Also, I have done some research on creative commons licensing, and have a tentative license on my website already. I do not know if I have picked the correct one for my intentions, but it is very easy to obtain the code to create the license so I know I can change it at any time.

I have taken the past few days off from writing, as I have 8 moderate pages worth of material and, as I said in my last post, I feel I am moving along at a fine pace.

The only struggle I have encountered recently is not knowing how many tabs/ what format I want to present the sections in on my website. Otherwise things are going well. I will resume writing (most likely) on Thursday.

Week 1 – 2

(Blog coverage includes first night meeting + last week's conference)


Surprising break through this week. During my conference with Dr. Z, the idea of turning my paper into a website came up. Though I was a bit skeptical. I've made a few websites already, so at this point in my academic career, it isn't as challenging as it used to be. When considering turning my (traditional) thesis paper into a website, I thought: this sounds a lot like cheating, it won't be a challenge at all. But that night, I went home and began messing around on wix, just to see if I liked the idea. Ling story short, I absolutely loved the idea.

Since last May, I have been dreading my thesis work. I was terrified of actually coming up with 35 - 40 pages' worth of original material??? The task seemed absolutely impossible, especially considering how large and shapeless my topic still was. My main concern was stitching all the various components together to make one cohesive piece. The transitions and recaps alone were giving me nightmares (kidding; mostly).

However, after deciding to turn this thing into a digital project (in its absolute final form) has facilitated the writing process dramatically. Whereas this summer, I had written a grand total of two whole pages, since last Thursday, I have written six. By looking at each topic (historical, psychological, political, etc...) as an individual webpage, I am less afraid of possible tangents. It is much easier for me to tackle each section, knowing that they do not have to flow as seamlessly as they would in a traditional academic paper. Instead, it is alright if there isn't as much--or any-- transition between subjects at all, because webpages are almost always independent of each other, joined together by the umbrella of the URL.

Initially, I wanted to have 10 pages of material for my next conference in October, but I am excited to say that I think I may aim for 15 pages. I am also excited to say that each piece feels pretty complete by the time I'm finished writing. Each section requires minimal editing, in my own opinion. Mainly changes in word choices and things of the like. I am extremely relieved to find that I am not mass producing junk writing just to meet my page limit, in which I would have to retroactively edit (which is a nightmare, because what if I had to edit most of my "hard work" out altogether???).

Overall I feel I am moving long at a much faster pace (and not procrastinating nearly as much) than anticipated.