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Non Fiction

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Katie



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 961
Location: What day is it today?
Non Fiction  Reply with quote  

Has anyone here had to write a large non fiction work? I'm starting on my thesis and it's frightening the hell out of me. I can't seem to get started. I just never feel like I know enough to do the writing part. I like the reading and taking notes part. It's the writing part that scares me...and I love writing!
I need warm fuzzies here people.
*^_^*
Katie

Post Fri May 20, 2005 9:17 am   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Goudron



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 2570
Location: near Cleveland OH
 Reply with quote  

Well you obviously will know your subject well enough if it's your thesis. Organize the main parts into logical order, and take it point by point. It will be so much easier after you start. Sounds like you have stage fright. Once you get into it, you'll be fine.
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Post Fri May 20, 2005 4:10 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Regina



Joined: 02 Mar 2005
Posts: 952
Location: Northeast U.S
 Reply with quote  

my advice- with academic writing- my favorite thing to do was to try to tie in seemingly irrelevant minutiae, just for fun.

But- that might be counterproductive- my guess is Goudron is right Smile

My adice tho- it will help your focus to get up for five minutes once an hour and walk around the block or something... and alternate between water and caffeinated beverages...

That alwaqys worked for me with long papers....

Post Fri May 20, 2005 5:36 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Ferrit Leggings



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 2658
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Katie,

I once wrote an extended paper on Huckleberry Finn paralleling it with the history of censorship in America for an Advanced English Lit class. I had so much research that I thought that I was going crazy. I even went out and bought The Critical Response to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Fin which I think if I remember correctly cost me 75 dollars with shipping. My professor even told me that I was nuts for buying the book but something told me that I needed it and it helped. Most of my schooling, so to say, is in literature and English with a background in art so I have some experience with writing critical pieces. My paper on Huckleberry Fin took a long time to write and many drafts but I was satisfied with it at the end and so was the professor. My 75 dollar book stands as a reminder of what I went through. You wouldn’t even want to know how many school districts and school boards have condemned Twain’s work. It is insane to even think about.

The history of the banning of Huck Finn pretty much goes like this. At first the library’s were mad because of harsh language and poor grammar, then some were mad because of the role of Jim as a father figure and now people are mad because of the n-word. What I found universal in most of the criticism was that most people hadn’t even read it that wanted it banned.

I guess what I am telling you is that it was a lot of work but I came out the better for it in the end. While working on the paper I began to hate the book myself. It wasn’t because of the language or the n-word and not something as silly as Jim’s father figure role but because I must have read and re-read the book fifty times and I got sick of looking at it. Even today books that have a southern feel to them tend to put me off a bit but I still would do all the work not because of the grade but because of what I learned for reading a master like Twain.

I am not sure what your thesis is about but you will do fine as long as you are clear with what you want to say. Writing fiction is so much fun because you get to make stuff up. Non-fiction is hard for me but I would plan it out almost like you are writing a book.

BTW: To Tell you how much of a geek I am when it comes to the censorship issue I was probably the only human on the planet to go out and buy What Johnny Shouldn’t Read by Joan Delfattore a book on text book censorship in America for pleasure reading.

Good Luck I am sure you will do well.

Also
A great investment is always the MLA ref guide but your's probably is in APA. Mine is an old copy of the Norton Pocket Guide. It is kind of like writing non-ficiton for idiots but it helped me. I kept messing up on the bibliography. Rolling Eyes

Ta,
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Post Fri May 20, 2005 5:49 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Katie



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 961
Location: What day is it today?
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Actually, I'm in music history so my style guide is Chicago. I have a copy of that and Turabian, which is Chicago light. Talk about heavy duty style guides. I just need to get off my ass and write the damned thing and stop worrying about it. The problem is I have to do a lot of catch up on background because I'm not familiar with the political history of what I'm writing about (music in the coronation of Charles II) and the political stuff is really important. So I don't feel like I know enough to start writing and I'm scared that I'll say something dumb. I just need to remind myself that I've said plenty of stupid things in that past and will say stupid things in the future, so I shouldn't worry so much about it.
Thanks everyone.
*^_^*
Katie

Post Sun May 22, 2005 12:15 pm   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
sgt_steve



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 5197
Location: Michissippi
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I had to write/co-write some manuals once. Detailed outlines were absolutely essential. Without them I succumbed to rabidly insane levels of digression.

Post Sun May 22, 2005 8:50 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Regina



Joined: 02 Mar 2005
Posts: 952
Location: Northeast U.S
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Charlse II ? I am reading (as luck would have it) Quicksilvre right now- by Neal Stephenson- Check out his source materials for historie- Charles II coronation figures iunto the plot - I'm sure that will point you to something useful...

Post Mon May 23, 2005 8:40 am   View user's profile Send private message
HRH Gracie



Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Posts: 39
Location: Virginia
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I have had to write several detailed reports in the past. As always, the more work you do before the actual writing, the easier the job is. Out line, outline, outline, and furthermore outline.

I can't even imagine the subtopics of your paper, but break it down into baby steps and just do it. I would be happy to proof read a bit. Cool

(of course i don't know the difference between right and write, sheezz)

Post Mon May 23, 2005 8:45 pm   View user's profile Send private message
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