Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Reflection on my research paper

My paper is bulky. I would agree that I have probably overextended myself. The reason why it turned out to be so long is that I'm unused to having the liberty to do extensive research in a field of interest. I therefore took it to the absurd extreme, to counteract the ennui that is the result of compulsory schooling. At the same time, I have also betrayed a weakness. I'm of the opinion (or compulsion) that one is not living meaningfully unless one is constantly exploring one's limits. I have certainly done that, but it is questionable whether my piece is successful.

Organization is my most pressing concern. I have attempted to condense a lot of history and philosophical background, and I am not sure if I could have presented it in a more coherent fashion. Before I start analyzing sources, I do provide a few paragraphs of historical context that I allude to later in the text, but it is still not comprehensive. I found myself adding even more history, for example, in my discussion of Murray's text. Moreover, I think I could have done a better job of differentiating between Foucault and Szasz. This would have helped to justify my arrangement and the need to discuss two so-called representatives of the anti-psychiatry movement.

I also find the conclusion to be weak. It is long, rambling, and the very end seems to be a generic anti-climax. The time left for revision was meager because of how long I made my essay. If my paper suffers from that, I must admit my impracticality.

As always, verbosity is an issue. This time, though, I'm probably also guilty of mixing metaphors that may confuse my reader (see my discussion of Foucault, Baudrillard, and Heidegger). I'm not sure if I sufficiently explained the terminology I used, or what I could properly expect my audience (graduate students) to know.

This semester, I most enjoyed writing this paper. However, it is probably my weakest and least concise.

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