Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One Little Victory

I'll have to admit that I've been a tad apprehensive about getting my peer feedback. I posted on a blog about Watership Down sometime last week, but the results simply weren't showing up. It was looking like I'd have to resort to asking English majors in my French class for feedback. I wasn't entirely convinced that they would be enthusiastic about reading what I have so far.
This woman feels something close to my level of excitement right now
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Something great happened though! I checked the blog and the author responded to my question! They not only responded, but gave me some excellent biographical background I was unaware of, along with some great tips for directions I could take my paper that I had never even considered. I'm so glad that our previous assignment pushed me in a direction that I would never have moved toward on my own. My paper isn't written yet, but already I feel so enthusiastic and confident about what will become of it thanks to this one little victory. Check out the comments from the blog below.

  1. Hi, I'm in a writing literary criticism class in which I have too choose a book to compare with Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland." I've chosen to compare "Watership Down," and based on you knowledge of the book, I'd like to get your insights. I'm thinking about taking a biographical approach between Adams and Carroll and see if similarities between their lives contribute in any way to similar themes that run through their works. I'm just kicking around ideas, and I'd appreciate any feedback you may have on another interesting angle I might be able to take for this topic.

    Thanks so much.
  2. Hi; thanks for reading!
    First off, good literature choices! I'd look at the similarities each author had in their ideas, storytelling, etc. Carroll told stories about Alice to an Alice and her siblings, and Watership Down is a written collection of stories Adams made up for his girls in the car, on the way to school.
    Depending on how long/detailed/massive your paper is, think of a few major points. Both authors have epigraphs (reference to other literature) at either the beginning of each chapter or the book. I know Adams (1920 - p) served in the British Army for six years during World War Two, Carroll (1832-98) never joined the army but lost both parents at a moderately young age.
    If you're going to compare these two grand works, I'd discuss the themes. Throw in the biological perspective for added interest, because it is intriguing. I believe many of the fearsome themes in Watership are due to the elements Adams fought against during WWII, totalitarianism and other such deplorable dynamics. Also, think of anthropomorphism, bestowing human characteristics upon animals; there is a definite correlation between both works there. You could also contrast the Queen of Hearts and her type of rule to General Woundwort and his. Stick with the biographical approach if you can dig up enough interesting facts about each author. If not, choose themes that run together. Does that help? I can answer more questions if need be. Have fun!

    1. Thanks so much, that's perfect! There are a lot of good insights there I had no idea about. I think I can incorporate a lot of those elements into my paper. Thanks for you time.

I'm really pretty excited about all of this. There are connections there between Carroll and Adams that I didn't even know existed! I definitely feel like I have a boost of energy in this process. I now have these insights in addition to the previous feedback I received from my "homie" on facebook. I sent her the message directly and she responded (a day after the last assignment was due, so I'm just now reporting on it) with ways that I could make my thesis stronger. I now feel like I have direction and I know where my paper is going. All of the previous anxiety I had about writing is has largely disappeared.

Now that I have a pretty firm grip on what direction I want to take, it's time to decide which potential venue I could use to publish my paper. The outlets that interested me the most when browsing through them on "The Real Reach of Student Research" blog were The Academic Archives, Scholarly Journals, and Guest Blogging. Unlike the option to present my paper at a conference, these three options give me the ability to get my paper out there and make it available to be read by many, without my direct presentation of it. There's a certain anonymity that I like. For example, if I were to submit my paper to BYU Scholars Archive or the journal Criterion, it could be found through search engines and be used as a useful tool for other people, but I wouldn't directly receive face to face criticism or adverse reactions from a crowd of people at a conference. I want my work to be of use to others, but I don't necessarily want loads of recognition for doing it. I like to think of is as more of a "pay it forward" approach.


  1. That is so awesome how you got that feedback! I haven't checked out Blogs yet, so its good to hear a success story.Do you know how long ago she posted about Watership Down?

  2. The blog is dated November 29, 2012, and I asked my question last Friday and got the response yesterday (Tuesday.) Her blog has a lot of hits, so it seems like she probably updates and checks it a lot.