Like I've said before, I still need to come up with a specific thesis. However, I still have a strong desire to write about the role of language in The Phantom Tollbooth. I recently brainstormed by creating a list of Things That Language Does that I feel would be applicable to my analysis of the book.
First I'm going to sit down and write out as much of the paper as I can (working on the goal of 4 to 5 pages from the middle of the essay). As I go, I hope to get an idea of what kind of research I would need to do: definitions, analyses done by my fellow students (such as Kimberlee), and so forth. I don't feel it would be wise to do research until I actually know what I'm looking for. In other words, panicking and thinking "Oh crap, this is a RESEARCH paper so I need to do RESEARCH!" and wantonly scrambling around the Humanities Reference section of the library without any clear goal is not going to be productive.
My mom once said: "People are scared of commitment until they're committed." So I just need to get started and have some faith in myself.