700 is the magic number; or the road ahead…

by Anna Blanch on October 20, 2009

700. It is the sum of four consecutive primes (167 + 173 + 179 + 181). But 700 sources. That’s the number, roughly, I need to compile by March for the GRO. This is the procedure by which I, hopefully, will miraculously turn into one possessing the “all-but-for-dissertation” distinction. 700. It actually seems more doable than the lack of structure filling my mind in relation to this previously vaguely described task of submitting a classified bibliography. Apparently what this doesn’t mean is annotated. But that’s okay, cause this eases the pressure of having to have 700 sources annotated by March which frankly would send me back to those despair filled days of my Irish Poetry Reading notebooks (RRR – you know who you are!).

I will be using a similar technique though – so like all painful, sleep-deprived, angst-ridden academic experiences should – something very good came of it.

 The RRR Reading Notebook consists of listing the bibliographical reference followed by a one sentence thesis statement, and then a short 4-9 line summary of the article including theoretical approach and argument. Finally, for those articles that incite a response, either in support or in argumentation, a 1-2 page response is written incorporating analysis of relevant primary materials. It is tough, and I am under no illusions of the task I set myself. If nothing else, my baptism by fire of the RRR Reading Notebook experience taught me that this is not the road of shortcuts. But by the end of it, you can’t help but know the state of scholarship back to front!

It is all for the love of books!

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