Work, brain, work!

I felt the bibliography essay was decently challenging. I think I’m pretty apt at summarizing, but I had difficulty connecting my sources into a “conversation”; several dealt with significantly different topics, and some with different works altogether. I was concerned there was a bit too much agreement among my sources in their interpretations of Oryx and Crake. I just couldn’t find that misanthropic interpretation that would have made the “conversation” diverse enough. In spite of that, I do feel I have strong sources.

As I start my essay on eugenics in Oryx and Crake and Gattaca, I’m having trouble coming up with an intro that doesn’t sound like the intro to every other essay on eugenics in Oryx and Crake or Gattaca. Eugenics and genetic engineering are extremely prominent topics and will continue to be so in the coming decades — the challenge is to express that in such a way that does not sound cliched.

I’m not confident with my tentative outline. Essays that deal with two works are always hard to manage, and I’m concerned with striking that balance where I can transition between them smoothly, discuss both equally, and avoid switching back and forth too much.

I’m also deliberating over whether I should include direct quotes from Margaret Atwood to back up my argument. I’m concerned that this may be “cheating,” as I ought to be examining the novel itself. However, many of my sources quote from interviews with Atwood; does that mean it’s acceptable practice in academic writing as long as it only reinforces evidence from the text?

Beyond that, I need something magical to happen that will allow me to compile my research into a coherent whole and just start writing. Since that won’t happen, my next steps are to map out my argument and mine my sources for the quotes that I’ll need.

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