Following on from my previous post ‘Post Assignment 3’ (Published on June 7 2017), I have now finished the draft of my essay to send to my tutor as Assignment Six.
Within the previous post mentioned, I highlighted a few points from my tutors feedback from Assignment Three, which I felt were the most pressing to concentrate on. These included:
- My use of the word sustainable.
- Balance needed between my points, such as why artists make.
- Too much judgement in certain areas of my essay from myself personally.
- Too many assumptions without back up.
- Longer quotes needed.
- Contact the artists.
- Clearer and more weighty introduction and conclusion.
- Use of the topic “success”, this is tricky to deal with as how can we define it?
- Use of finance as a topic, again this could become judgemental and really it is an individual matter.
- What about the use of social media, could I include this in my essay?
The above were just a few of the points identified. I found re-reading my tutors feedback vital, as well as annotating it. I then further refined this by rewriting these points on separate paper for clarity. In conjunction with this, I got a family member to read my essay and my tutors feedback at this stage. This helped me to again refine and observe the points which were most poignant.
Personally I have never felt lacking in the skill of writing, thus I did not enter this assignment with trepidation. Yet I knew that style and context would have to be learned, as this type of writing was new to myself. I coped with this by backing up my learning with varied reading around the subject of essays, Harvard referencing as well as the context of my writing itself.
How did I move forward?
I decided to change my essay title. It was too long winded and yes, my use of the word sustainable within this context was confusing and weighted too much of a risk in useage. Thus you can now see that I have shortened my title to a much clearer one line.
I contacted all three artists I used, however sadly only Karen Nicol was the only one who replied. You will see through my A4 file for this essay, that I constructed questions and sent these to the three artists. Nicol’s replies were pasted into my file. On reflection, this really helped my new essay draft construction, as I had “meat” to work with. It also made me refine my writing style, deleting areas where after further reading, I felt I had been too judgemental in tone. Assumptions were taken out, so that my text and comments were backed up with quotes rather than theory.
In order to find weighty and meaningful quotes direct from the artists mouths without having personal replies from all of them, I turned to artist films. I found historical interviews and demonstrations from each artist. I used a note book to jot down artist comments which related to my essay. I then reflected back on this book, to glean those most prevalent.
As to my introduction, I made this clearer, by outlining definite questions to showcase what I was looking to find. This helped me be focused and well researched, as I was not saturating my time over too wide a topic. You will see through my printed and annotated drafts in my file, that I began with many more questions in my essay than I finally came to keep. Looking back I am glad that I had these in place to begin. Why? As I kept viewing them, I found that some linked in to others, thus could be amalgamated. Looking at them time and time again, made me question what I wanted to discover, thus those which had less relevance could be taken out. Yet it is only with time to ponder and reflect that this could be defined and decided upon.
For this reason along with others, the process of having two assignments to redraft the essay over a period of time, has proved very helpful, as I was continually learning and progressing.
I found that as I was also working on the more physical parts of the course, the research I was doing for this tied in with the essay too; thus having the final draft of the essay at the end of the course, meant that I had more experience to inculcate and inject within my text.
The word count has proved a challenge, yet having many words could be seen as a positive, as I don’t feel panicked to “bulk out” my essay with comments which may be frivolous. What I keep within the essay text, can be surmised as the highest quality of what I had written, the “crème” as it were.
Finally in connection with my conclusion, I endeavoured to close my essay with strength, turning back to the points set out in my introduction, to make for a clear stream through my essay, which answered my title and subsequent questions. This should make my essay easier for assessors and observers to read.
I feel that this experience and the reading I have accomplished throughout has given my understanding of textile practice further depth. Certain books read, such as those on critical thinking and essay writing were not ones I would have chosen to read without this essay, yet they took me out of my comfort zone.
It is my hope that this experience has strengthened my writing enough for when write further essays for the next courses.