I have started to write my actual paper. Have I already mentioned this? I don’t think I have!
I’m basically expanding on sections of my outline, which is usually how I write my papers anyway, so that’s pretty nice. Every time I remember that this is the actual paper, a first draft of the ACTUAL THING, I get super duper nervous. I don’t want to leave stuff out. I’m writing one section at a time, but it’s a little hard to stay on task.
I’m trying to go in chronological order and start with the GI Bill, to Eisenhower, to Kennedy and then Johnson. I feel like I glossed over some of this a bit, and really forced myself to write less about Johnson than I planned on initially. In fact, I think I’ve said more about the National Defense Education Loans than I have about the HEA, but that’s also because I talked about the HEA a lot in my historiography, which is at the beginning of my essay.
Today I realized that I have 82 entries in Zotero! That’s insane! I also have not been annotating as often as I should be, so I went back and worked on that. At this point I’m ready to move forward with my writing, especially my research which I feel that up until this point was mostly focused on the Johnson era. My thesis is saying that the reauthorizations that followed that–in the Nixon, Reagan and Bush eras, were more important. So I should look for more primary documents on that topic, and then see if it still fits into my thesis. At this point though, something I’m quickly realizing — Johnson wanted more loans than grants anyway. He didn’t say just give away federal money to college students. It’s Congress that gave out more grants than Johnson asked for, so maybe they are the ones to blame here.