Say your topic is Eleanor Roosevelt & Hillary Clinton: Women People Love to Hate
You have found 6 resources: 3 journal articles, 2 books, 1 online interview
1) You start reading the first article on Eleanor Roosevelt: Civil Rights Champion by John Stones...
2) You open up your blog and type in the following for the title-
JS: Eleanor Roosevelt: Civil Rights Champion - Overview
3) In the body you type as important passages or factoids appear or things that make you question something. Remember page numbers - helps with citations later on!!
Background history (pg 2)
- Born - year
- Family connections
- Marriage & Family
- Years in White House
Depending on how many sub-ideas there are, you may want separate postings for each. Note the page numbers for easy citations later on.
4) Then you label the entire post according to the big ideas and where it might be useful in your paper (comma separating):
labels: JS, FDR, White House, family, ER background, ER overview,
5) Now you keep reading, posting, and labeling as you go through your resources
Think about your topic and thesis - has it changed at all as you discover new information? - Do you have any lingering questions? Are you ready to start writing?
6) As things start to answer or support your thesis, mark them with a separate post - thesis
7) Retrieve your information!! Because you used labels, your postings are searchable and retrievable in an organized fashion. How do your ideas connect to the information you have gathered? Use your labels to retrieve statements, quotes, ideas that support your goals of the paper, and sort!!!
8) Getting ready to write! Just the simple task of thinking about categories of information, can help you see the natural structure of your paper - help you to write your outline even, based on the categories.
In the example above, when you get ready to write the background information section, you sort by the label "background" and all your postings come up. Re-read them and weave them (with citations) into your own ideas. Because you put page numbers in as you went, your citations are almost ready!