Well, I got home from work at 6pm, fed the whiny cats — “Feed me! FEEEEEEED MEEEEEEEE!” — slammed some leftover Thanksgiving in me, and then got to more work. For, after many months and weeks of sporadically working on my neglected dissertation, I spent the past five hours this evening, gathering, collating, updating, and color-coding my current bibliography.
Yes — you read that right: color-coded.
Black for “Cited in text”
Green for “Taking notes, not in text yet”
Red for “Yet to research”
As of right now, I have 58 sources cited in my text and I have no idea how many citations I have in my so-far-111 page-dissertation because I’m using MLA style (Modern Language Association) for my source documentation, and MLA uses parenthetical citation instead of footnote citation. Since the goal is 1) 200 pages, and 2) 100 sources, then I’m doing pretty good, I think. I may actually have more sources than I’ll need, which is 1) good, because I won’t run out, and 2) bad, because I can easily go into the scholastic equivalent of ferret shock.
If I just think of doing research for four, 20 page research papers, then I should be okay and get myself out of the research black hole that I’ve found myself in. You know the research black hole — reading every single critic and secondary source in creation before. you. write. a. single. word. Just in case you missed something, or whatever… the research black hole, with a gigantic, fiery accretion disc whirling about it made from the friction of notecards rubbing together.
Anyhoo — I’ve put in a solid evening’s worth today, even though I did scream REALLY REALLY LOUD IN SHEER! MADNESS! a couple of times.
I think you have to be a little crazy to do graduate-level work. Crazy. Definitely crazy.
Signing off now. Night night…