Sunday, September 02, 2007

Scientific Thought Production

1 Read, re - read, read again, and - !Bibliographies: Read everything your professors suggest. Many of the faculty publish bibliographies, librarians also provide services on questions. There are some kinds of reading being applied to science: Reading from top to bottom, looking for phrases, like my theory is... And, of course reading each line to get the deeper sense of a text. I read everywhere, I always did, but for scienctific reading newcomers I would suggest to carry a book with you, whenever, wherever. Read in the bus, in the subway, read waiting for somebody or on the couch. You will get used to it.

2 Collect Ideas: Always carry a notebook with you, or record your thoughts.
Collect these notebooks. Ideas and other notes might be seen from a different view weeks, months or years later. Watch TV or surf the net, browse book stores, talk to people you do or don´t know: Opinions and thoughts shared often produce a flow of thoughts in new directions. Brainstorm on paper at least once a week. Record association chains, write down your dreams. Keep these collected data safe, in boxes, books or store them on CD.

3 Write a blog: Writing a blog will give you the opportunity to write on a regular basis. Also, reflecting about style and developing an own style is supported by this kind of writing. There are many books out on the market about writing. Read them. Write. Otto Kruse wrote this fantastic book called Keine Angst vor dem leeren Blatt: In eight chapters he describes the obstacles often experienced and he explains how to start best. He says, that the prospective author has to be open to write down nearly everything. He then suggests to write for two weeks, every day. Clustering is a method commonly known in creative work. Pick a word, it does not matter which one, like fear, book, wood, picture, or research, and write it into the middle of a white sheet of paper. Then build strings around it by associating each string with more and more words, untile the sheet of paper ist full. I have an example for you, on poverty: See picture!

Train this weeks, months, this makes your thoughts visible. I have to admit, I was an excellent writer in High School, but not on scientific grounds. Scientific writing is learning and doing step-by-step, first collect ideas and thoughts. Then think about what you want to do with the text. Then - Kruse calls it - transform your structured notes, ideas, and thoughts into clauses. And so on. Thilo Baum´s walkthrough in thirty minutes serves another purpose of writing, namely Journalism. Free-Writing is offered by Lutz Werder in Kreatives Schreiben: This is a very easy technique, just write for five minutes without stopping. Whatever comes to your mind, consequently. Although I work on laptop often, paper gives me this feeling of having all collected information at once: Sheets of paper may be spread all over the table. More and mor blogs are suggested to support psychological work, too. I do not want to reaveal a list, please research yourself.

4 Research
I research all the time. I have this software called History Collector, it help. I tend to suffer information overload. If this happens to you, urge yourself to rest for two to four days.
The internet, books, catalogues and databases serve information gathering very well. Try to find out, what services your local library or University offer. Talk to colleages, and record or write the most important issues into your notebook.

5 Sources
Baum, Thilo (2005) 30 Minuten fuer gutes Schreiben. Offenbach: Gabal (2nd edition)
Kruse, Otto (2005) Keine Angst vor dem leeren Blatt. Frankfurt / New York: campus concret (11th Edition)
Werder, Lutz von (1992) Kreatives Schreiben von Diplom- und Doktorarbeiten. Berlin: Schibri

© Amber, Sybil 2007 Anthropo Logic Journals.


                                                                                                                                        © Sybille Amber: Intellectual Property 2005/2006/2007

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