A Research Writer’s Letter: To Write Something Worth Reading

As a system that has existed through hundreds of years in American history and currently prevails today, some fail to recognize the roots and inner workings of capitalism that has caused for today’s economic inequality and racial tensions. And so, in the midst of recent events (that probably seem distant now in December), such as the intensified BLM Movement, COVID-19, and our current wealth gap, I wanted to take this opportunity to scrutinize our current system, to criticize its flaws, to question and bring about alternative futures, to possibly attempt at a way to change it, and to ultimately, encourage a dismantling of the system. 

However, before I could start questioning an imagined future, I had to look at the past, something that I felt I did well in my research. It was initially difficult to find sources that could fully grasp what I wanted to convey and appropriately support my argument, though once I did, the satisfaction of finding a resource became a chain reaction—it was like a domino effect that made me find more. Thus, my RefAnnBib entries became my saving grace; it was the “research-rich foundation” in which blueprinted almost the entirety of my research argument. Though I did find further sources after completing the RefAnnBib, the insights I drew from my sources were especially helpful when drafting my research argument and content that I did not remember writing about came in handy. These entries finally became worthwhile as I realized that not only can I rely on my RefAnnBib for citations and possible quotations, but for sticking to a continuous roadmap with my argument for style, concision, and flow, with topic sentences and phrases that can act as a signpost. 

While my draft is filled with multiple highlighted phrases, bolded sentences, and bullet points that would invade the middle of paragraphs, I am still going through that process of returning to these parts for revision (something that I feel may never be completely finished). Reading aloud with my peers, as well as in-line commenting also gave me a better sense of direction and forced me to actually pay attention to my own writing—it made me feel like the reader rather than the writer. Though my paper will never be perfectly finalized, I wish to at least “give justice” to the authors of my sources and ring my paper with “exigency” instead of a tedious history paper, something that would be worth reading, listened to, and further cause people to want to change their own system. And this would make closing all those 20 tabs to be even more satisfying.

2 thoughts on “A Research Writer’s Letter: To Write Something Worth Reading

  1. I completely agree with what you said when it came to doing research. I had to go back and forth between my outline and databases to find satisfactory evidence that supported the topic of my paragraph. While searching for one specific piece of evidence, I bumped into many sources that I was able to cite and use in future paragraphs. The research indirectly helped me come up with new ideas for a paragraph and my overall essay structure. Also, closing all those windows/tabs once everything is said and done is the best feeling ever.

  2. Hey Nazia, I’m really glad to hear how the RefAnnBibs helped you a bunch throughout your process of writing your paper! I do agree that once you find an article/journal to use, it becomes a domino effect as you indulge yourself deeper into the resources that the Internet has to offer. I found myself having to dig deep into the past for my researched argument and at times, it felt like I was writing a history paper. Working with that to bring exigency is something I think some of us may struggle with. My paper isn’t finished either, yet I like how you acknowledge that our papers will never be finalized. In fact, all of the pieces we write are never finished, and that is perfectly okay! Because we’re continuously growing not just as writers, but as thinking humans. I know most people already know this, but I hope it reassures you (and others reading this comment) that there’s always room to grow, that writing takes time, and that improvement may seem slow, but it’s all there.

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