The research paper we were tasked with writing had several hardships in terms of the approach toward how to use available materials pertaining to the subject. My most difficult problems were the act of using a resource to try to alter our own lens on the topic of how an image described a particular aspect of the civil war, as well as trying to find a resource at all that fit the task. Together, both made the work behind the essay very tedious and removed some of my own perspective in place of ideas I didn’t necessarily agree with. Personally, I feel that the usage of other’s ideas when trying to interpret an image is destructive to the creative process because it forces a student to rely on other’s words to relay an idea that they themselves may have had. Furthermore, despite the many resources allotted to students in this task, I felt that my paper could have done without other’s interpretations because I couldn’t find a particular resource that made my words more effective. Rather, I had to constantly remember that providing a secondary source was necessary and I had to write to allocate the usage of said sources. In my opinion, the hardest part of a “research paper” in genera is trying to shoehorn another person’s ideas in simply because they are qualified to speak at length about the topic being discussed.
There were some upshots to writing the paper in the form that was specified, however. The prompt allotted for a wide variety of different ways that the image in question could be analyzed and understood. The library training, despite my opinion of using sources, made the process of searching for a piece that was somewhat relatable became a less agonizing process. I primarily enjoy being able to analyze an image from an interpretive sense, which is precisely how I went about trying to come to a better understanding of my image. In essence, the research paper itself wasn’t a challenging task, and became more interesting as I picked apart “The Soldier’s Dream of Home” more and more. Once the task of dealing with the research portions was over and finished, the fact of the matter is that the paper itself was enjoyable to write and the topic of the image, mine being sentimental domesticity, was very interesting and made for a great topic to write about.