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Research Writer Interview With Sally

A Writer Guided By A Tutor


When did you first decide to become an college essay/academic paper writer?

I have always loved being able to express myself through the written word. Whether it's an examination of my personal experiences and views or an exploration of a scholarly subject, I enjoy the permanence and utility of essays and papers. I like being able to communicate in a fluid, versatile manner. It's very satisfying to me to start an essay or paper on a topic completely foreign to me, and through research and writing gain complete mastery of that topic. I feel really gratified when I can expand my intellectual horizons. Plus, I think it's a lot of fun. As a kid I loved to keep journals and compose little songs and poems and write stories about all kinds of imaginary and outlandish characters. As an only child, I was lonely more often than not and I could create an entire world through writing. It was an escape and amusement for me, and it still is.

What are your favorite writing topics?

I like to do a lot of different kinds of writing, just to keep myself interested and learning. I like small projects and big ones, topics with which I am very familiar and those that I have never encountered before. Anything that offers me a chance to educate myself on something new or take a fresh look at something old is appealing to me. Because of my experience in political science and the law, I like topics in politics, history, sociology, and psychology. I also have interests in education and human development, so I like creating lesson plans, designing development studies, and conducting reviews of educational techniques. Because I have a rich background in foreign languages, I like anything with an international bend to it, especially literature or intercultural communications. I think studying the world around us through its words is fascinating and incredibly satisfying.

How many years have you spent writing academic papers?

In high school, college, and now graduate school, I have always been drawn to classes that demand lots of writing. My first exposure to academic writing was my freshman year in high school, back in the early 90s. I took an expository writing correspondence course through a university and took on projects in non-fiction writing that were guided by a tutor. In high school, I was the editor of my school newspaper as well as the literary magazine. That was constant writing under tight deadlines and tons of editing. In college, I triple majored in three liberal arts subjects--English, Spanish, and Political Science. All of my classes were highly writing intensive. Most semesters I would have at least one major paper in each of my five or six classes. My senior year, I took capstone courses in all of my majors that required up to 100 pages of writing for the course grade. I relished this kind of curriculum and found it challenging and fulfilling. I also performed undergraduate research, for which I had to write many proposals and grant requests over the three years that I worked on my project, which ultimately culminated in a 200 page senior thesis and translation project. In graduate school, every day is full of writing to guide and enhance my study process. I write continually for this purpose.

What kind of work do you find most challenging?

Part of me really loves approaching a paper with no direction whatsoever, just a totally blank page before me waiting for me to fill in its spaces. I like contemplating all the possibilities in a subject and all the different ways I could take the subject within the confines of the assignment. It's an adventure and challenge for me to tackle a subject in an area completely unfamiliar to me--say, advanced science or medicine or an obscure topic in the history of another culture--and I love the learning opportunities that offers.

What are your future goals with respect to academic essay writing?

I am currently pursuing a law degree, which is a career that relies very heavily on academic writing. A lawyer who is not a proficient and capable writer is not worth his or her education. Clear, effective persuasive writing is completely necessary for a lawyer to advocate and represent clients successfully. In every law job I have ever had, my writing has gotten a real workout. Every word you use, every emphasis you create, is completely significant and under scrutiny from the judge. It is always my goal to be a better writer and researcher in my law career, and the tools I have gained from my background in academic writing are invaluable for that ambition.

Thank you for your time, Sally!

You're most welcome!



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