1. Establish a social context.
2. Establish the ideal hero.
3. Test the ideal hero.
4. Reveal his weaknesses and return to relate him once again to his social context.
Yes, I am that awesome. Well, I would’ve been if I realised I was doing it. If I’d realised I was doing it, I would’ve broken the essay into four sections, and headed each with a decorated capital. (And possibly put four smaller capitals in there as well, which may or may not constitute further sub-divisions.) Unfortunately, I didn’t think of this until I was just about to hand it in, and I decided it wasn’t worth going and changing it now.
It is far too long (ahem. I mean… it’s just right, Lolo!), and my ideas are sprawling and there’s so much more I want to say. On the other hand, it’s certainly the most dense thing I’ve ever written. And it has a Theoretical Basis, even if it’s not a very well researched one.
However, in I’m-not-going-to-say-how-much-more-than-three-thousand words, I had all of fourteen or fifteen footnotes. This happened in the last essay I wrote too, although here it’s exacerbated by my decision, according to the rules of the MHRA Style Guide, to cite line-numbers in text rather than in footnote. The beginning and end of the essay are resonably well represented with secondary source footnoting, but the middle is just me blathering on about the poem.
Is this supposed to happen? Until now, the better I’ve gotten at writing essays, the more footnotes I made. Last year I prided myself on a ratio of footnote/words that was greater than 1/50 at all times. Now I’m writing things which feel harder, and I suppose that’s the collorary of having a big slab of original idea: no one to cite for it. It feels a bit like having my training wheels taken off. (When I learnt to ride a bike, training wheels had to be taken off one by one when I wasn’t looking, or I’d cry and refuse to get on it again.)
While I go off to find a desperately needed coffee, have yourselves an interesting modern poem about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.