Prior to writing my bibliographic essay I was stressed about how much I needed to cover. Avatar is already a long movie (171 minutes), but then I found two books, two short articles, and a forty-minute interview that I want to use as sources. I eventually had to just dive in and summarize one source at a time, which ended up helping me narrow my research idea to a few specific aspects of Avatar that I want to explore.
My initial plan for organization was for each paragraph to cover just one source and have the paragraphs in order of which source was most useful. As I summarized I began to see how the sources were connected, either by similarities or differences. I decided to arrange the essay by the three main points I formulated while summarizing and then introduce the different pieces of evidence in their relation to each other within these main points. This helped turn my bibliographic essay into more of a conversation, which made the writing process more natural.
Since writing the bibliographic essay I feel much less stressed about this research paper as a whole, as I feel that I have better formulated ideas to explore and have good sources of evidence to aid and critique these ideas. I am a little worried that I do not have enough of a dissenting opinion for my paper’s conversation, but I am otherwise pleased with the varied media of my sources (movie, books, articles, interview) as well as with the different professional backgrounds of the sources’ authors (film director/writer and deep sea explorer, scientific writer, ecocritical writer, journalists).
My biggest worry for the paper is my ability to balance this paper with the many other projects and papers I will be doing in these next three weeks. As always, I need to stress less and just do one thing at a time.