Thursday, June 24, 2004

Research paper

I have been working on rewriting a term paper about Nagorno Karabagh for one of my classes. It's a bit of a drag - I thought it was fine before, but I had to reformulate my hypotheses to match the prof's guidelines.

Oddly enough, though, I'm starting to enjoy the rewriting process. Primarily because I have so much more to say now than I did a few months ago. What I have to say has nothing to do with new developments - not much has changed, despite some rhetoric about achieving a resolution. Instead, I find myself writing more about how the situation fits into a general theoretical framework. There's more writing that isn't footnoted, and I have a better understanding of motivations, particularly those of third parties. It's also nice that I can incorporate some of the research I did for another term paper on Russian foreign policy towards the Near Abroad. One of my case studies is particularly relevant in demonstrating how Russia's motivations have affected the negotiation process.

It's inspirational in a way - I am beginning to realize how much I've learned in the past year, not just about writing, but also about how to approach a research paper and how to think about regional concerns from a broader, more general perspective.


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