Documented Essay Proposal


My professor instructed us all to write a 500 word proposal for our big documented essay. The remaining 2 months of my semester in this course will revolve around this documented essay since it is essentially the capstone of my entire degree. I willingly chose to enter into a seminar course that focuses on the environment and sustainability since it is something I am greatly interested in.

Working Title: Climate Change Denial and How It Affects Us All

For my documented essay, I want to look deeper into Jackson’s While Glaciers Slept. I want to see how it examines climate change and climate change denial. My research question would be something along the lines of “What does Jackson’s book While Glaciers Slept offer students in regards to understanding climate change and how climate change denial affects us all?” Prior to reading this book, I would have never thought about glaciers in regards to climate change. Glaciers are large but in the grand scheme of the collective mindset, they are very small. I want to dive into how glaciers are used to expand on this idea of climate change. I want to learn more about how the glaciers impact the globe. I want to find out what would happen if we didn’t make changes to keep the glaciers “healthy” and thriving.

I also specifically want to expand further on the idea of climate change denial. I want to explore how Jackson feels about that denial. I want to know how that denial affects everyone. I want to know how that denial specifically affects the glaciers she loves so much. The reason I’m choosing this book to focus on is because Jackson not only has an engaging prose but also an important message. Another idea I remember reading from While Glaciers Slept is the concept of “Earth 2.” This is something I want to try and squeeze into my documented essay but that’s on the back burner for right now. Another thing I am going to discuss is how Jackson uses the death of her parents as a way describing the death of our planet that is happening before our eyes. She also uses the death of her parents as a way to show us how death seems to far away but it really isn’t. The death of her parents and the death of the planet have the same melancholic undertones that I plan to also explore. Lastly, I want to go through the actual prose, varied sentence structure, and how her thoughts echo throughout the book.

I plan to start my documented essay with a brief review of Jackson’s book and then diving deeper and deeper into my research question. My working thesis is: Jackson’s While Glaciers Slept teaches readers about environmental changes using glaciers and gives us an inside look into her views on climate change denial because glaciers do much more for the planet than we may think, climate change denial impacts many different things, and where we can find the effects of climate change in our everyday lives. I know it’s a little messy but it’s a start. I also did some research and found an academic journal called “Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development. It is a student-founded journal that focuses on the environment. It’s also a journal for undergraduates to submit to so I really feel like it fits this documented essay fairly well.

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