Recipient of the Fr. Jack McGrath, S.M., Award for Research in Catholic Intellectual Tradition
The writing process for this project was stressful but incredibly rewarding. I began by reading and annotating the source text, Martin Luther's "The Three Walls of the Romanists," an excerpt from the larger An Open Letter to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation. Then, I wrote out a first draft of the summary section and sketched out a rough idea of the arguments I thought might be convincing to the modern Catholic. After I received initial feedback from my professor, I continued the drafting process: reread the source text, add things to my essay that I had misinterpreted or missed completely, try to tie off loose ends, repeat. Unfortunately, I got stuck in that cycle— I got too close to the essay, I got frustrated. I remember taking one of my drafts to my professor and saying, “I just don’t like this essay.” So, my professor suggested I take a step back from the project. After a few days away from Luther, I was able to see my work with fresh eyes, find the loose ends that were bothering me, and build arguments I found compelling. I learned how important it is to stay true to the source text and to take breaks from writing to avoid getting stuck. Once I applied those lessons, I ended up with an essay I’m proud of.
"He Came in like a Wrecking Ball: How Martin Luther Dismantled the Three Walls of the Romanists,"
Line by Line: A Journal of Beginning Student Writing: Vol. 8:
1, Article 13.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/lxl/vol8/iss1/13