Spring break has seen me write like mad to complete my outline, which now stands at 32 pages of bulleted goodness. I’ve chosen to separate the paper into three sections on a broad level: the history, the media coverage, and the discussion/original theory. Beyond that, the majority of the writing that has gone into my first draft — fourteen pages currently — has been in the department of introduction, materials / methods, and review of literature.
The introduction has always been somewhat of a mysterious beast for me; it takes its time in deciding when it’s going to be written, and often comes not all at once, but in bursts. I’ve found that if I keep tabs on how inspired I’m feeling to write it, I can usually recognize when is the best time. For a study of this magnitude, the introduction must be a clean and concise rendering of the dozens of pages that follow; capturing that is no easy task. I expect that the rest will come most naturally in pieces, as I continue to flesh out my outline into a formal paper.
Since this independent study has involved specific parameters of research, my mentor T. Olga and I decided that it was best to include a materials and methods section, to clarify why I’d chosen the line of research that I did. I arranged the section similarly to how my paper is itself ordered: history first, media coverage, and the discussion of the two that involved my own original theory. For each section, I provided an overview of the literature I pulled from as my primary sources, and in the case of the primary documents from the New York Times‘ historical archive, I explicated the exact search parameters I used.
All of this detail is in the service of anchoring my research and sources in my primary research question. Like the ‘so what’, every paper needs one, otherwise it means nothing.
Here is my question:
How and why did the New York Times participate in the framing of the Six Days’ War that endorsed the foreign policy goals of American policymakers?
This question has much to unpack; the question encapsulates two broad themes: the goals of American policymakers — which are based on history relevant to the region and the event — and the New York Times’ framing of the Six Days’ War — based directly on the primary source articles I have obtained. Beyond this, ‘how’ and ‘why’ are naturally open-ended, and the ultimate goal of my study is to answer them using my own theoretical framework.
I’m satisfied with where I am right now — for the foreseeable future, I’ll be continuing to translate my outline into a first draft, while monitoring the cohesiveness of my argument and the flow of my paper.