Blog Entry #2 – Dissecting Clark’s maps January 16, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized , trackback
From Writing the Successful Thesis and Dissertation by Irene Clark:
The strategies for navigating or “mapping” a text can be summarized as follows:
1. Get an overview of its topography.
2. Examine the text for its central “moves.”
3. Consider the text in a rhetorical context.
4. Situate the text within your discipline.
5. Locate the “sea of former texts”–areas of “intertextuality.”
6. Compare this text to other texts you have read.
7. Consider why you are reading this text.
8. Create signposts that will enable you to see the path more clearly
9. Keep track of your own location as you proceed.
10. Evaluate your presence within text.
I really like the idea of mapping text. From Clark’s book, I like suggestion #8 & #9 most. #9 mentions keeping track of our location in order to take pauses to question what we’ve learned. I often find myself needing to take such pauses. Sometimes, it’s frustrating to keep stopping, but I do find that I grasp the content better if I stop and evaluate what I’ve read. I also really like #8 from the list. In addition to breaking while reading, the text suggests to write and highlight text when we discover something interesting that we’d like to remember. I don’t do this often enough, and it’s something that I can see having strong benefits. Oftentimes, I forget things that I found interesting and enlightening.
In terms of keeping track of research… For me, because I am interested in a thesis topic that involves graphic design education and curriculum, I will be using my working environment as a source for research and learning. I teach undergraduate courses in graphic design and would love to speak with other faculty members at my university and other universities to gain insights into student leaning habits. I also plan to attend conferences and will use those trips as an opportunity to prepare for my thesis. I find that speaking with others (informal interviews) is a great way to conduct research. Maybe I can create video, or audio footage as I go along. This might offer an alternative to the traditional written logs. I also plan to keep digital folders on my computer to help organize various thoughts, writings, photos, and screen shots. In terms of research from books or journals, I think I’ll have to begin scanning content immediately and then placing the files into the appropriate folders.
Overall, I found the information in Clark’s writings very helpful as I begin this process and attempt what I’m sure can be a daunting task.