Coming into English 299, I really had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t read any course descriptions or anything like that, so I REALLY had no clue what I was getting into: all i knew was that it was a requirement for my creative writing major. Upon reading the syllabus, I thought it was interesting that the class was essentially divided into three sections: theory camp, the era of Tropic of Orange, and the final research paper. Now, having the ability to look back on the class in its entirety, this aforesaid order makes complete and total sense; if I didn’t garner a better understanding about theory, how was I supposed to write a summary and response, let alone a research paper, without all of this background knowledge in literary theory? Honestly, this class really taught me how to approach a research paper more mindfully and methodically, rather than just aimlessly posing an argument and throwing out a bunch of information in an ambiguous order, or lack thereof, that will just confuse the reader. After the first two sections of this class, writing the research paper was actually enjoyable. I was allowed to pick a topic I am very, very passionate about and run with it under the guidance of someone who knows what they’re doing. Moreover, simultaneously, I got to apply the knowledge from 299 to my upper level English classes and, without this knowledge, I most definitely would have struggled a lot more. Before this research paper, I was completely unaware that it is imperative to activate the critic’s voices within your own paper, which segways nicely into your argument, thus strengthening your interpretation of the text/film you’re analyzing. I will always always remember the information I’ve learned from this class and may even find myself revisiting the dueling theses template. Thank you for a great semester Prof VZ!