Wow, has this paper just stressed me to the point of insanity. I don't know what it was about this particular assignment, but I think I kind of wanted to show everyone (okay, mostly just myself) that I don't have to like an author to write a good paper.
Which brings me to my next point: no, I did not grow to love Milton that much. Despite the fact that I named my fish after him, he just didn't stick out to me. I'm still glad that I chose this major authors course over the others because at least I've learned something about the works and the life of an author other than Shakespeare...who I am sick of.
I'm not used to being very social about my school work, especially papers or essays, but the first step in socially optimized research is to TELL PEOPLE. I don't necessarily procrastinate enough to be considered really irresponsible, but I do like going at my own pace. The last unit of this class, the research unit, has been the most difficult for me. To talk to everyone about the progress of my paper (or lack thereof) is just way out of the ordinary for me, but near the end, I had several people (like my parents, an old high school teacher) reading drafts of my paper to give me feedback. but I can already see how I'm going to benefit from it.
For example, the library. This place is seriously fantastic. There are books on everything in there, and there are librarians and people at the help desks that want to help you! I'm so used to doing hours of research online, even on scholarly archives, and I did not find half as much material as I did with half an hour in the library. I only wish I had come to my senses sooner and learned to use this resource earlier in my BYU career.
I was pretty set on my topic of the humanity of Satan, but got really silly about some of you other classmates writing about it as well. Professor Burton told me that this could actually be a good thing, because I could use some of the sources some other people did, etc. But not only was I scared of my paper being easily compared to others, but I wanted a paper for my own for some reason, so I felt like I was settling on comparing the characters of Eve and Dalila. Only when I actually started my research did I really get into the topic and realize how much information there is out there. The information wasn't always a traditional source though, but I learned this wasn't a bad thing. In fact, if it was something on Google+ or our very own Blogger, I was able to contact that person talking and actually have a live conversation about the topic.
I published my paper on the BYU Scholar Archive on the same day that it was due on the blog. This is a cool little place where BYU students can submit their work for viewing, even for feedback. It's intriguing to think that my work could be read at any time by any student, and, knowing that fact, I approached this paper differently. I know that expecting my professor to read it should be enough to do a great job, but the requirement to publish it made me work even harder.
I'm pleased with what I've learned from this class about, yes, Milton... but surprisingly, I'm even more grateful for what I've learned about the research process. I hope to do better in the future because of these new techniques. Thank you all for being there through this course with me.