Struggles and Successes During Repurposing

This has been particularly difficult for me, but I’m finally getting a good flow going. My biggest success has been inserting a decent narrative. I decided to use my experiences with Flint and Davison, Michigan as a focal point to relate to throughout my piece. I have also had great success finding compelling sources and compiling data.

My one issue is finding a balance between data/references, and my narrative writing. I am not sure if there is a perfect amount to shoot for, but I don’t want my paper to be flooded with citations. I have had difficulty organizing my paper, but I think as I write I am able to refine it. It started out as a rather clustered mess. Now it is taking the shape that I want. Any advice on incorporating facts and data without losing a conversational tone? Another thing is that I am not using a couple sources I originally intended on using. Should I just continue to stray away from these sources and remove them from my bibliography, or should I find a way to fit them in? Another thing driving me crazy is that some kid has been staring at me in the Ugli for about 40 minutes now, but that really has little to do with my repurposing. Maybe he is my distant brother or something, I’ll ask and let you guys know. Finally, a problem I am having is with length. What are you guys looking at for length? I don’t want to make it so long that I lose the interest of my reader, but I also want to have enough space to create a sophisticated argument. Any advice?

Last question: if you won a million dollars right now, what would you buy?

2 thoughts to “Struggles and Successes During Repurposing”

  1. Did you ever find out if it was your long lost brother? How exciting if it turned out you had just documented your first-ever interaction! As always, I find myself smiling when I read your blog posts.

    If I interpreted your post correctly, I love the idea of using personal experiences and observations in your piece. In terms of inserting evidence without losing a conversational tone- are you writing from a first person perspective? If so, I think it will be easy to remain conversational. After listing a piece of evidence, if you analyze it in a way that sounds as if YOU are speaking to the reader rather than an anonymous voice, then I think naturally it will sound conversational. In terms of length, I am struggling with that too. My work-in-progress will likely be around 1.5 pages single spaced.

    I am wondering about the tone of your essay. You have a talent for communicating jokes and sarcasm through text, but are taking on a serious topic. Are you planning on adding any humorous aspects to the piece? I don’t think that a joke here and there would necessarily detract from your argument, but would rather add an interesting element. Sometimes when humor is mixed in with serious subjects, the juxtaposition seems a little disturbing which can drive home a point all the more.

    If I won a million dollars right now I would probably buy a lot of smaller cool things rather than one big thing…some of which might include plane tickets to New Zealand, a large saltwater aquarium with jellyfish, seahorses, and other cool sea creatures, and a caretaker for said aquarium because I’m not sure how to maintain it.

  2. Clinton,

    First, I totally expect an update about your brother. Second, I’m glad you’re finding success in adding in a more personal narrative. I’m also struggling with the balance between personal stuff and research, so at least that’s one part that you aren’t struggling with too much.

    As far as finding a balance, I think it differs for every paper, so it might be something you have to play with. I know that mine is taking on a more personal aspect with less of the research put in, but your topic probably needs a bit more research. Instead of citations, you could do numbered references, so you only have to add a number every time you include research instead of a super long citation. That’s just an idea, though.

    As far as keeping the tone while adding facts, I think it just depends on the paper again. That might be something that we can address in workshop. For the sources, I think it’s okay if you don’t use them specifically, but I would keep them in your bibliography, since they might have been sources of inspiration or they might have led you to do other research that you are using in the paper. As far as length, I think whatever works for you is best. I would suggest just writing everything that you have to say and then looking at the length. You can always try to shorten the argument or make it longer if you think it needs more.

    If I won a million dollars right now, I would be practical at first. I would pay for the rest of my college and maybe invest some or save it. Then I would take whatever I have left and travel as much as I possibly can.

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