Monday, 23 September 2013

week 3 blogging question

For this week's blog question, we'll take a page from Luker again. This time, with research proposals and literature reviews in mind, let's take on Luker's "bedraggled daisy" exercise as she describes it at the end of chapter 4, and in more detail beginning on p. 81. No doubt everyone thought about what their daisy might look like when they reached that point in the Luker reading, but it's another thing entirely to sit down, work it through, and draw one. This is partly an exercise in using another medium (drawing) to think thoughts that might not come as easily in a purely textual medium, and partly an exercise in the value of visualization: the point is not just to make a daisy, but also to step back and consider what you've done. As with writing things down and explaining your ideas to others, there are often new things you'll realize once you externalize and formalize your thoughts.

Part of the exercise, too, is acknowledging the provisionality of what you've just made, so give some thought to Luker's suggestion that you should number your daisy and think of it as an iteration in a series.

In the spirit of Luker's visual exercise, please post an image! You can use whatever medium you like: Adobe Illustrator; a sketch on a napkin snapped with a camera phone; coloured chalk on a sidewalk (no spray paint, please); a pencil sketch complete with crossouts and revisions -- whatever works best for your thought process. Some people's daisies may look more like sunflowers; others' may look more like trilliums (appropriately enough for Ontario). The point is the thought process that this exercise provokes, and the reflections and discussion that arise from it. However, I'd keep it simple for this first exercise -- best to avoid maple leaves or fractal geometries that have subcategories (at least for now).

For what it's worth, I'll be doing the same exercise as I prepare my own literature review for a project proposal on applying bibliographical approaches to born-digital texts. Having done this kind of exercise on a regular basis, I can attest that it's pretty much guaranteed to help not only your literature-reviewing, but also your articulation of it when it comes time to write it out.

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