While writing my practical cryptography paper, there have definitely been some challenges. The first and probably hardest part of my paper was choosing a topic. I had no idea what someone would want to read about that would directly relate to cryptography and didn’t know what advice I could give. Eventually, I settled on searching the internet anonymously and began my research. This part was equally enjoyable and frustrating, because while I like perusing interesting articles for information, oftentimes the articles I was finding were saying the same things. To solve this problem, I searched for sources that pertained to different parts of my paper; there were sources I used for history and background, sources I used about actually taking steps to search anonymously, and sources I used about the ethics and legality of it all. With a little creative searching, I found most of what I needed.
Now, I am still in the process of actually putting all this information into a coherent guide and finishing writing my paper. So far, it hasn’t been extremely difficult to organize; the paper itself is fairly straight forward in its components, and it’s easy to choose an organization scheme that boils down to ‘introduction, background, methods, ethics, and conclusion’. This was unquestionably the easiest part of my journey writing this paper. One of the things that I’m still struggling with is adopting the proper tone for the paper. Because it is supposed to instruct college students in a practical cryptography topic but is still an academic paper, I find myself needing to balance two different tones (one more casual, and one more formal).