too much information

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“Start with the readings, but don't pad your paper with summary.”

This is hard for me. I have noticed that I can easily get swept up in plot summary. I think because a research paper has a certain length, I feel I won’t be able to fill the space. Another reason I summarize sources, is because I think it’s all important. I also have a hard time cutting material out of my paper.  Sometimes, I feel there is too much important information. I don’t want to eliminate sources that make my point.

I learned in Thinking and Writing to read the sources first and then place them into my paper. Before, I would just start typing away and not before long, I had two pages out of three dedicated to two sources. Then I would spend too much type cutting information out. Reading first, helps to organize your thoughts as well.  It also helps because you can evaluate all of your sources and put only the really important information in your paper. It helps to save time.


Yes, your STW teacher has made a good point. You can't really call it a "research paper" if you sit down and start writing down your opinions before you've actually done any research. I'm asking you to come up with a research question and several credible sources before you actually start doing any writing. (We'll talk more about that in class.)

Angela Palumbo said:

Plot summary is a hard illness to get over. My 12th grade English teacher did a great job of stressing the importance of NOT summarizing plot. If you must give background, start off a sentence with "The appearance of King Hamlet's ghost proved..." then you have the rest of the sentence to make the point. It's brilliant and allows you to show more than you tell.

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