Thursday, May 9, 2013

Feedback Received!

I received Professor Nice's feedback earlier today. Here's a summary of his critiques of my first draft, as I interpret them:
  1. Overall, my citing using Chicago was okay; there were some mistakes, but overall I seem to have a handle on it. More importantly, however, is how I used the sources. I am going to go back through the most critical secondary sources and discuss their conclusions vis-a-vis my thesis in order to bolster my argument. I will take another look at Walsham's Charitable Hatred, Lamont's Last Witnesses and Puritanism and Historical Controversy, Harris's London Crowds, Kenyon's Popish Plot, and perhaps a few others. That should provide enough grist for the argumentation mill!
  2. I used more passive voice than I had intended. It was also more than I was aware of using, really. I am not sure if it's two years spent studying Latin - where the passive voice is a "thing" - or just a personal foible. Professor Nice pointed out some places where it was problematic, and some where it was not, but I do need to get a handle on this, regardless.
  3. One of the biggest challenges is how to incorporate Catholicism within my argument in a meaningful way, without lumping them in with the balance of "nonconformity" in a way that makes them seem like any other Restoration religious subculture. Catholics and how they were perceived by the Protestant majority are very important to the discussion about Restoration London, but they are - in several ways - quite distinct from the many diverse Protestant sects  in how they were perceived by the Anglican faithful. In many ways, the challenge lies in the fact that they are simultaneously essential to the discussion, while also being perceived as standing apart from the rest of the nonconformist population in a way that made them unique in the Restoration environment. They are simultaneously part of the larger, dissenting group, yet distinct from it at the same time. In the end, it may be that a Quakers versus Catholics contrast might have proved more fruitful, but I am committed to the "Muggletonian Option," at least for this project.
Because it is my desire to spend the rest of my professional life engaged in research, writing and - hopefully - teaching at the university level, it is important that I make this paper the best it can be within the confines - space and time - allowed. While I am too exhausted today to make any significant progress, I am looking forward to the challenge presented by Nice's feedback... and hope that I can rise to the occasion!


- Rod

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