On difficult writing topics
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23 / M / California
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Posted 11/10/13
Lethargic Leopard Seal again, here to talk about something even writers hate; difficult topics.

Write now I'm writing a paper about the Documentary, "Murder on a Sunday Morning". It's a show about a fifteen- year old African American boy who wrongly accused of murder, and ends up innocent in the end. With this being Sociology, the class has been charged with writing a reflection on the paper while tying in elements of a chapter of text that deals with crime and punishment. Now, normally reflections are easy. They're usually formatted like a review and open for interpretation, but this particular paper has a very narrow field of interpretation. Even the documentary we're supposed to be reflecting on hangs heavily towards the defense, so it's hard to write a reflection without making it seem like a summary.

You try to make the paper sound objective and professional without trying to summarize it, but even the extensive notes you've taken look like pointless ramblings that have no relevant data. This unfortunate fix leaves you spouting out what is, in your mind, articulate bullshit and it makes you question your very ability to write. Then you realize that this isn't the first time you've sucked at writing, whispering to yourself that you'll just take one for the team this time, but the fact that you wrote something that you yourself can't bear to read still tugs at your nerves like a brain gremlin who ate after midnight. It's hard to get rid of those gremlins because working around them won't solve anything, they'll just come back to try to ruin your writing. Eventually, you have to find the gremlins and deal with them personally- maybe by writing something your passionate about or by throwing all the rules to the wind and jotting down daily happenings in a vivid stream of consciousness that only you understand.

Of course, those liberally used yous are me, but what I want to know is how you guys deal with the brain gremlins. I wouldn't recommend watering them.
Posted 11/10/13 , edited 11/10/13
Naturally I've dealt with topics that are easy to write something completely atrocious about.

Since it looks like you don't have appropriate data on the subject you're dealing with, it's going to be riddled with opinionated "conclusions" which might provoke so much flak from readers. But, you can do the best with what you've got.
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Posted 11/10/13
Reflection can go in different directions, I must say.




Wouldn't it be better to write a paper if you actually ask a question in the very beginning?

Then, you try to answer it without thinking that you're handing it out to your instructor.


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Posted 11/10/13 , edited 11/10/13
Your description of the paper to write is a bit muddled to me. If you are writing about the documentary you are basically writing a summary. Writing a reflection about the crime and punishment presented in the documentary is slightly different. Objectively did the story move you; search your feelings Luke. Was the crime and punishment presented in a realistic form compared to other shows you see that are dramas or live courtroom proceedings.

Your paper probably needs to be objective because you are presenting your reflections or feelings of the documentary. Professional... grammar and punctuation always. Remember your paper or story must be interesting so Keep It Simple Stupid. An acronym I use for writing...just kiss it.

Hope this helps. I believe anything can be made interesting if kept simple and honest. A good thesaurus can be your greatest writing tool.

one last thought. How would you discuss this with a friend? I mean one of the toughest things I had to do was describe the original Judge Dredd movie to someone. Crap I still have mental scars from that day.
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Posted 11/11/13 , edited 11/11/13
I personally try to follow a couple of steps like

- Don't make assumptions
- Know your reader
- Use correct grammar
- Read it back
- Easy to read = happy reader
[edit] adding - "Keep it simple and honest" -cheezewhiz41

Keeps the gremlins away
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Posted 11/11/13
One way to make a reflection better is to compare it to similar/dissimilar cases...like the wrongfully accused David Milgaard who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit (insert other "wrongfully accused" google search names here). By bringing other information and your own research into the paper, it becomes something other than regurgitation and is much more satisfying to write. (Also keeps gremlins at bay)
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Posted 11/11/13
Rambling, I can see that problem too
toxxin 
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Posted 11/11/13
It's a reflection paper right? So doesn't that mean you put your thoughts on the matter into what you're writing. I havent personally seen the documentary but based on your synopsis some of the key points you should note are analyzing aspects of the trial and supporting your opinion with things you've learned in the class, it's more about applying what you learned in the class to real world topics than giving lip-service and packing it full of vocabulary that you haven't used properly. If you do it properly you should have more than enough opinions to cover the page length.
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Posted 12/8/13
I once had to write a paper about Defining sex: how to, how others have + tried to, problems+difficulties, and how i'd define it.

It was like trying to vomit on an empty stomach, positively painful. It was for some gender+ sexuality Anthro class. Our prof had done her theses on porn, and was researching furry sex.. which i think it even more horrendous.. but yeah.
In that class, i had to write reflection +comparison papers of porn (usually of the 'non'vanilla genre, which were watched in class ), fgm, diff masterb**tion practices between f/m, gay,lesbian straight etcetc.
But for me.. that particular paper really wasn't enjoyable.

Also.. reflection papers should offer your perception of how you viewed things, .. i don't think this is a summary. Sure you'll include examples, extracts, excepts or this and that, but people see things differently, you might think everyone saw and understood the documentary as you did, but you might be surprised to find out that your prof hasn't heard of that take of it before. So just write how you saw+understood the movie (in relation of those other things, crime+punishment etc), perhaps offer some alternate perceptions of how normal or other people (with or without knowledge of crime+punishment or socio) might've understood it.

Anyways, goodluck. In my experience w/ sociology reflection papers, just bs it well, make a slightly out-the-box, 'innovative' and slightly controversial insight 'and you'll be fine
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Posted 12/8/13
I'm currently trying to write a paper on shell-shock in World War I; it's difficult because the examples I want to use are mostly primary sources and don't really work toward proving my point; sources are difficult to find because it wasn't very well understood (not as much as PTSD is today) back in 1914-1919; it's a difficult topic but it's interesting to say the least.
It's also hard to be forced into hitting a page length or word length. Sometimes there's just not a lot to say.
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Posted 11/26/14
Year-end cleaning. Removing threads that have been inactive since 2013.
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