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My Capstone Paper - 2023



I have really enjoyed the process of writing a Law Review Type Paper. When I first started the Capstone class, it seemed very overwhelming but the process of writing the paper through the steps of the class were actually extremely helpful. Having to write a paper in such an organized fashion really helped me write a better paper. We started our the semester with having to pitch our idea. I was really excited about my topic and was thankful the topic was approved but I had no idea what I was really in for until I started the research. Over the course of several weeks, we researched the legal and non-legal landscapes of our topic. I refer to this time as traveling down a rabbit hole. Every source I came across confirmed I was on the right track but there was so much material. Every aspect of my topic seemed to have been explored. I was thankful to find out that no one had written what I specifically had in mind and I got to digging in that hole. I t was a fascinating time that included a ton of reading. The assignment of an annotated bibliography was painful but useful as it really helped me narrow down the sources I was using and why I wanted to use them. When this assignment was first given and we had to select twenty sources, I had been dumbfounded. How was I supposed to find twenty sources and know which ones I was going to use before I even wrote the paper. However, through the process, it really became clear that this was a tool to narrow down your topic and decide what sources deserved to be mentioned. Next we focused on the outline. This part of the paper was the easiest for me as my topic fit so nicely into different sections. Putting together the outline really started to shape my thinking for the draft paper. Writing the Introduction proved harder than I imagined as I struggled to come up with a title and spent a lot of time thinking about it. Probably too much time. When the title did come to me, it came fast and I was sure of it! The actual writing of the draft I thought would be much easier as I felt I had so much of the work behind me. I knew I needed 12-20 pages and I had about three weeks so I wisely divided up the number of pages I would need by day and gave myself a goal of 1-2 pages a day. Well, after day three when I was still on page 2 - I realized I may have been a bit overzealous. I started to break down each section of my paper into topics and when I sat down to write, I wrote on one topic at a time. The next time I sat down to write, I would quickly review what I had already written, make a few changes and then move on to the next topic. This process proved much easier for me to manage and slowly but surely, my paper started to come together. It felt like an Ah-Ha moment and I realized I was enjoying the challenge of this paper more than I had anticipated I would. Where I struggled most was the conclusion! Yikes, it was hard to wrap up 17 pages into a 1-2 page conclusion and I believe I fell short in this area most of all. However, Professor Townsend-Gard had reiterated that this first submission was just a draft. So, I didn't stress too much over it knowing I would have a chance to re-look at the draft over the next couple of weeks. It felt like such an accomplishment to turn in my draft paper and to turn it on on time! Wow! What an experience.

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