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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Monday, November 29, 2010

365 days of being a writer: day 105

Here's a bit about my totally analog research hack:

I read through bee book three of four on the bus today. Bees are so cool. Not as full of personality as birds, but so damn mysterious! They just vanish. Disappear. Where do they go? Why? MYSTERIOUS!

As promised, I got my index cards and got to work once I got back home.

I don't know if I learned this method in middle school or high school. It seems like I had to use it for a French paper on Haiti, which would mean Ms. Bangs and at least tenth grade. But I feel like I was already familiar with it by then.

Anyway, it goes like this: most research papers have an intro, conclusion, and at least three middle points. More than three and you're letting the topic get away from you, fewer than three and you are missing something. Plus, three is a nice pyramid: rising, climactic, falling action, I mean data.

In any case, each body section might have other sections, but I keep my organizational methods at a level I can handle. So three it is.

Index Cards
Something to keep them in with a way of dividing them.

Today at OfficeS-Mart I found a little plastic box/envelope thing that holds my 4x6 cards (enough room to get a good amount of info) and has 5 lil clear dividers. Here are the dividers and all of my cards so far --two more books to go.

Research 1

On each card is the work cited name, the page, and the section. Then the quote or data that I think I might need. Here are some of my section 3 cards:

Research 2

It's maybe silly, but I am a hands-on kind of workerbee. This way, after I have all the cards, I can lay each section out and organize my research physically and then write the words in between the facts.


In other news, a very old friend called me today and asked how I was doing. He has learned that "okay" isn't worth a damn, so he asked me to give a 1-10 ranking. I surprised us both by saying "Six. No, 7. No, definitely 6."

I mean, six isn't shitty. It's a damn sight from awesome. But it is definitely not shitty. Also, I sent off for some of my PCC transcript copiess and all of my UCLA copies. That leaves the rest of PCC (I only get 3 free a day), PSU, and MCC for a total of $68.00 in remaining transcript fees and $215 in application fees.

I haven't yet put the biggest chunk of garage sale money in the bank, as it will fritter away the moment I do. After my rough draft is done, I will pay for the Pdx and Wy app fees. Since I am dragging so much ass on this research, I want to wait to pay the hefty Univ of Washington fee ($75) until I know I will have a paper for them. I am waiting until all transcripts are in to call up Kansas State and talk with them about whether or not to apply.

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