In contrast to the convenient and rather enjoyable discovering of my research topic — the plight of child soldiers as exposed in A Long Way Gone and how that narrative calls for humanitarian action — writing the research paper was more difficult.
First of all, I’ve never written a prospectus or annotated bibliography before. In the prospectus, it is expected to use the pronoun “I” often because that part of the paper is an explanation of what I, the author, am going to do. I’m not used to using “I” in a professional essay format, so that took some adjusting. The annotated bibliography wasn’t too complicated, but it was definitely a lengthy task. I had to read each secondary source carefully to completely understand its content in order to write about its thesis and intended audience, etc. I do admit, however, that writing the annotated bibliography and prospectus helped me plan out my actual paper.
Before writing my first draft of the research paper, I made a very fleshed-out outline. It is because of this outline that I barely had to do any thinking for the actual drafting because all my research questions are listed there with evidence. I even matched my secondary sources to each claim. However, without a doubt, the most grueling task is to write the actual research paper. Because I have such a short attention span, and unless I’m very invested in my writing with the right atmosphere, it is difficult to stay focused and write more than a paragraph at once. I lagged at drafting because of this, which created a lot of extra work later during my research paper writing.
Ultimately, I am proud of my paper. It took a lot of time and effort and focus, but the end result was worth it. I’ve never written anything like it so far! My paper on child soldiers and A Long Way Gone includes a prospectus, annotated bibliography, full-bodied research paper, and works cited page. I’m glad the paper is over, but also happy for all the knowledge it gave me.