In my experience, final papers and final projects are pretty standard parts of college classes. They take research and hours of organizing and writing in the hope that it’ll be the best it can be. As an English major, I’ve gotten used to writing a lot of papers (such as 9 a semester, which has happened), but I’m lucky this semester. I only have to write four, with some little blog posts and short responses thrown in.
And I’m writing on the same topic for two different classes.
I’m in The World of the Hunger Games, which is an Honors SIS that revolves around analyzing different aspects of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. There are lots of guest speakers and I’m learning a lot of fun stuff, but there’s a paper involved that will be used as the basis for a symposium (for us, that’s a presentation to our class and whoever else wants to show up). I was originally planning on exploring the PTSD and coping represented in the series as compared to war veterans.
At the same time, I’m in the Advanced Multimedia Authoring class. We spend a lot of time thinking about rhetoric and designing websites. One of our projects is to write something about rhetoric for Harlot, an online magazine, which we’ll then submit and try to get published. I wanted to do something on The Hunger Games, but couldn’t find a way to think about the rhetoric of PTSD in a way that I would enjoy working on.
Therefore, I decided to make my topic for Multimedia Authoring gender roles, which I can examine rhetorically in how it supports or subverts stereotypical gender roles.
And it turns out I can change my topic for my Hunger Games class, which means I’m now using the same topic that will require the same research for both classes. I just have to make three different versions of the argument (a paper, a presentation, and a paper using media).
This is the amount of research I have so far for just this one topic:
I think it’s a good thing I don’t have to do more research for something else entirely.