Typically, my papers are a less than three day process-outline, then write. I wrote my first paper on the female pursuit of knowledge in Milton's works. I did much research, several blog posts and discussed the idea in my Transatlantic Literature/Women's Studies class. Dr. Siegfried and Dr. Johnson helped me formulate a narrower scope-Milton's portrayal of Eve as evidence of his "Feminism". Overall, I am very happy with my paper.
I was surprised to hear back from the conference I submitted my paper to-no acceptance/denial yet-but still, it was more exciting than I thought it would be. For me, I have learned not to be so afraid of reaching out to others. People have a lot to say and experts love to be asked about their topics of expertise, so why not glean from their wisdom? In talking with my Transatlantic Lit class, several Milton classmates and multiple professors, I definitely put more effort into understanding my subject than I really have ever done for a paper. It's something I will try to do in the future.