Studying for comps...

>> Monday, December 6, 2010

So... finished off book report today, and not doing the primary source assignment ... I need to focus on studying for my comprehensive exams. At this point, I am scheduled to write them in February ... I need to do a close reading of 55 books before then and be able to (intelligently!) pull together what I read - and, to some extent, keep track of who said what when. That will be the tricky part - but I think I'm sorting out a system for it.

For each book/article that I'm reading, I'm doing a one page overview - source info, keywords, thesis, arguments and how it fits with my work/that section. In a lot of cases, I'm also doing a similar page for each chapter or section. Once I have read each section and am ready, I am to write a 8 - 10 page paper.

Plus, as I go, I am keeping track of key events/dates in an Excel spreadsheet (so that I can sort it later) and I'm mapping key themes in my Inspiration software. Best $50 I ever spent, that. I don't use the software the same way as I did when I was in undergrad, but I do still use it regularly.

I hardly ever actually produce anything final in it any more - I used to use it to generate outlines and so on when I was writing (much) shorter papers - but these days I mostly just play with ideas. I quite often end up with multiple versions of the same ~stuff~ .... and it sometimes feels like I should quit starting over with them and just FINISH one ... but it is the process that matters for me right now, not the product... so will just keep playing.

ANYWAY...I have a plan... now I just have to get through it all. Quick like bunny!


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