Jonathan’s Drafts
Jonathan Pearson

The paper started out as a tribute to Hillary Rodham Clinton. I had been following her career in the Senate for four years, and when it came time to do the assignment, she was the obvious choice. There was a lot of subjectivity in my writing because my subconscious goal at the time was two-fold. On the one hand I was trying to comment on her work; at the same time I wanted to influence readers to support her over then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama, even though by the time I began writing it, he had already been chosen as the Democratic candidate for President for the 2008 elections. I was determined to prove she was the better choice after what I felt were unfair attacks on and treatment of her during the primaries.

My earlier drafts covered too much ground for the length of paper I was asked to write. My thesis was all over the map. I was trying to cover too many topics, and it was very confusing for the reader. I was trying to include both her speeches and her writings, which left the paper overburdened. Finally, Professor Patti Hanlon-Baker suggested I choose one or the other. I ultimately decided on the writings because there was more material to choose from, and it made my job a little easier when trying to re-write the paper.

By the time I reached the final draft, I noticed how much tighter my writing had become. I would take two or three extra sentences to explain a particular point instead of the short, choppy sentences I had been trained to write during my years working on the student newspaper. I was learning to separate journalistic and scholarly styles of writing. Having the experience of constant revisions and editing also gave me the hands-on training one rarely gets in the classroom today. Most students only get a semester to work with a particular teacher, and in my class, I had a year and a half. I believe that was one of the most beneficial experiences of college in terms of my growth in my education.