Having written the first draft of my final essay I thought It would be a good time reflect on my essay writing experience. As outlined in my last blog I had set out a very detailed essay plan , which was supported by in-depth research material. When I initially noted that the essay requirement was 6000 words I felt that I was not going to be able to find enough research material to meet the word count. Once I began the research process I realised that the subject matter I had chosen was so broad, suddenly 6000 words did not seem enough. I found having undertaken such in-depth research invaluable as it made the essay writing process so much easier.Before starting the writing process I re read my essay plan reflecting on the content I wanted the write about, in each chapter, and ensured that I had the correct reference sources and supporting photography that I intended to use for each chapter.
To support the critical arguments in the essay I wanted to provide examples and quotations for some of the key essay arguments. When I began writing I was aware of the limited numbers of words I could use so held back on elaborating on some of the points. As part of the learning path for this module I had to submit a 500 word essay draft to my tutor. My tutor felt that the draft required more examples to support the critical point. I reflected on her comments and agreed with her observations. I noted that the reason for the limited referencing was my concern on the word count. I managed this challenge by researching some more examples to support the chapter I was writing . I also set out a plan to reflect on my initial essay content and omit some of the minor points to allow me to elaborate more on the key debates and provide more examples to support my argument. I re submitted my essay draft with the additional examples.
One of the challenges that I faced was writing about subject matter that was still relevant today. I was ensure If I should write in the past or present tense . In the context of the essay I was discussing the past but the behaviour/practice is still relevant today. I overcome this issue by choosing one tense point of view and used that throughout that chapter.
I am now in the re editing stage the essay process. I am finding this aspect challenging as I need to remove some content as I am over my essay count. I am also conscious that I need to make sure that I have enough examples my argument. On reflection I think I have elaborated on some points too much and have used a lots of words to cover one point . I think this is just my lack of confidence that what I had initially said was not enough. I have therefore started the editing process by eliminating the duplication or over explanation on some of my arguments.
I have really enjoyed the research process for this essay and I have been able to read some really interesting essays/books by academics and writers of photography. I found the most challenging part of this process was structuring my arguments. I spent weeks trying to set out each key argument into subsections. As outlined in my last post I managed to overcome this issue be returning to the the mid map that I had set out to structure my research into headed segments. This process enabled me to see clearly how I could structure the argument and the logically flow of the essay content.
I think the key learning I would take away from this experience is plan and plan again it makes the process of writing and essay so much easier.