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Friday, August 12, 2011


I am not well organized enough to use a lot of technology to do my research. All I use are books, a word-processing program, and the internet. Nevertheless, if you need to be better organized than I am, there are a lot of technological tools you can use.

What I basically do is put everything in the actual word document that I am working on. A bibliographical reference goes in the work cited. A paragraph from a primary or secondary source goes into the body of the text. I don't first collect data somewhere else and then write. I simply begin writing from the beginning. Where this doesn't work so well is when I've neglected to collect a complete reference and have to go back to check a book out a second time from the library.

Your most sophisticated piece of technology is your brain. Everything else is just a way of storing information in retrievable form.


Andrew Shields said...

I wanted to post the last two sentences on Twitter (excellent aphorism), but with your name, it was too long, so I just took the first of the two.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Andrew. Now I'm sorry I canceled my twitter account.

Professor Zero said...

What do you do about files? I used to make a lot of xeroxes and printouts of things I got from libraries but now a lot of that is available as pdfs and things. I have a mega file cabinet but were I to start over I think it would be a virtual one, in the cloud.

Jonathan said...

I tend not to keep a lot of hardcopy files, unless they are rare copies from an archive.