Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"I Love It When a Plan Comes Together"

Creative Commons 3.0
From the beginning I knew that I wanted to write my paper about the narrator of The Book Thief who just so happens to be Death. Basically I had my paper planned from the beginning, it was simply lacking social proof and a solid structure. I knew where I was going, but I was still figuring out a details. Throughout this entire process I've received a lot of weird looks as I explained my paper to those around me. However, after the initial shock of my topic wore off, most people were willing to offer advice and some even got excited about it.

Research, on the other hand, was not as easy to come by. I scoured the Internet looking for anything that was even remotely related to my topic of the personification of death. Then I scoured the BYU library, and finally the public library. Eventually, I found an encyclopedia about mythology that had dozens of representations of death listed and explained. After that I had more ideas of what to search for, and research became an easy task. As I found those different representations of death, it became easier to compare them to The Book Thief. 

Although the people that gave me advice were willing and excited, those people were difficult to find. I asked dozens of my coworkers and not a single one had read The Book Thief. After that, I became desperate and send out a plea on Facebook. Luckily I found more people who had read The Book Thief and they were willing to help me sort out my ideas.

However, throughout this entire process, I had no idea how I was going to structure my paper. When the end was in sight and it was almost time for me to start writing my paper, I went and talked to a librarian who specializes in YA literature (not at my workplace, a different library completely). After I explained my ideas to him, he provided me with the organization that my paper needed. He thought that I should define the two different sides of death and use those as a starting point for my comparisons. By doing this, I could more easily tie the Queen of Hearts in as well as the narrator, Death. He gave my paper the structure that it didn't have.

All I had to do next was to put all the different representations of death that I had collected through my research into one of the two sides of death. After that, I could start writing. And it was so easy!

So, here is it: my completed research paper!

No comments:

Post a Comment