Wednesday my feature plan is due for the Master’s part of my course. I have to write a 3,000 word article on basically anything I like. We are instructed that the easiest thing to do is coincide it with your dissertation topic. Well, although I am very interested in my dissertation topic, 3,000 more words on binge drinking in Britain will not get my name in a travel publication. Now I have to pick another topic, complete seperate research and actually type, as opposed to cutting and pasting, my feature plan.
I discussed this with my tutor and he recommended I complete a plan on the same topic and change it later. While this would be the easy way out, I was hoping to use the plan requirement to my benefit and, well, actually write about the same topic as the article will be about.
A coursemate of mine discussed with our tutor the problem she was having about being unable to determine the angle her article would result in prior to interviewing her contacts. Our tutors advice? “Waffle in dog shit for 700 words.” Yes! My tutor referred to her work-to-be as dog shit and yes! He said waffle. Is that even a word? I looked it up:
My mac dashboard dictionary says: [v] 1.’fail to make up ones mind’ 2.’speak or write, esp at great length, without saying anything important or useful’
Microsoft word theasaurus suggests: ‘gobbledygook’!! Did you know that was really a word? I thought people always made it up when they said it. What do you know – you learn something new every day.
The real question is, if I am allowed to waffle through my feature plan with the definite intention of changing the topic in the future, how does this help me? Is its purpose not to organize my thoughts and begin to structure my article? How can it meet this purpose if it’s all gobbledygook??
I am tempted to revolt against the system and simply not complete it. I’ve been lectured on effective and productive time use since high school – this sure isn’t it.
But in the end, it is 10% of my mark; therefore I will spend tomorrow waffling in dog shit… again!