I find myself buried in books and printed material already, and realize organization will play a large role in keeping up my productivity and sanity. I started a new journal today; I have kept journals for six years now and take notes on anything I read that catches my attention or any ideas I find myself wrapped up in or using.
But how will I keep track of all this research?
- Journals, my journals are not notes but mash ups of ideas and content/quotes. More of my own words then notes.
- Notes, this will be more point by point overviews and directly thesis related.
- Writing after reading. I like to write my own synopsis or just free write after I read something that sparks my interest. Sort of my personal review of the text.
- Printing online material, having physical access helps me organize.
- Connecting texts, I categorize and place physical texts and books by how they relate to one and other.
Where will I look and how will I choose?
- I hate to limit myself, so I will be looking everywhere withing the scope of my topic. Even though my topic is technical and modern, ideas do not expire and can be applied or reapplied. I like to trace ideas back to there roots and understand how ‘we’ got there.
- Usually I skim read to find relevance and see if there is a spark to warrant an in depth look. Table of contents, prefaces, abstracts, chapter introductions/conclusions tell a lot.
- If something proves useful I will either print it or purchase it, I enjoy owning books so I can wonderfully deface them. I also have a empty bookcase I will be using to stage this research.
- I will also look at data and statistics, I always found stats useful. This would include statistics on reading, interaction, technology use, and anything and everything related. Visualizing information is very helpful to my process as well…nothing like a good inforgraphic!
Mapping texts is nothing new to me. I am a sucker for theory and if you have not noticed by my1000 word comments, I enjoy writing. If were to look inside my books I write all over and in them, I section books with post it notes, and if something really sparks my interest I write a short essay that puts it into my words and perspective then stick that essay into the book or staple it to the material. I also photocopy specific section of books to add them to a larger collection if they will be referenced often.
How will I map texts?
- Again, take note of identifying information, such as title, date, and my personal synopsis.
- I will write a short essay on the content and what I took from it.
- Note any connections to other texts or contrasting ideas.
- Use post it notes, highlighting, and inner book notes to quickly find the content of interest.
- Mark it in or out and in order of relevance.
- If applicable, I will execute an idea or concept.
Beyond that I think you can tell so much from how a sentence is structured, reading at its base level requires that you uncover the authors process of thinking. I try and get myself in the authors shoes and think of them as a person with so much passion that they wrote a book! There life, personality, mind, and selves are right there in the words. I pick apart what I read, look between the lines, a body of text is like anything else, I want to know how it works and why it was printed…who it was written by. I try and look for connections to other texts and imagine the time it was written. What was going on in their world and what drove them to write.