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Reflection: First Assessment

posted Apr 16, 2014, 9:19 AM by Ezra Lockhart   [ updated Apr 16, 2014, 10:01 AM ]
The end of this week is the due date for my first graduate-level assessment.  I must say that I was nervous considering that I had not written academically in over 6 months.  During the break, I completed a nearly 200-page technical document for a healthcare contract, but there is nothing quite like the APA format.  I actually appreciate the style rules and sound and rigorous standards set by the American Psychological Association.  The tone and voice of the format compliments my writing style.  Moreover, I am grateful that I can pick up the publication manual and get an authoritative ruling on how to format specific elements.

The theme for this paper was: Revision, revision, and more revision.  This was definitely the first time I have committed to major revisions and tossed out anywhere from 600 to 800 words in a 2,000-word paper.  I was also surprised, when composing my introduction, that my reference section had more words.  It makes sense in hindsight, but when you are attempting to create a concise argument, while consistently looking down at the word count, every word is heavily weighed and considered.  (The references section is not counted towards the total word usage, but it did make me anxious.)

There were moments when I questioned my approach to the literature review.  I tried to get anyone and everyone to read it, but I understand how difficult it is to critique a style you are not familiar with.  I sought and found a doctorate-level faculty member outside of my program with publishing experience.  She gave excellent feedback.  I quickly committed to an entirely new approach to my literature review and delivering synthesis after synthesis.  After a couple of exchanges, I had a product I am satisfied with.