March 20, 2009
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Academic Tinderboxing

A discussion has started up in the Tinderbox Forum on Tinderbox for academic writing. Jean Goodwin chips in with a conference paper that‘s due at the end of the month.

  1. For the last 6 months or so, as I researched I stuck random notes about the topic in a container.  I looked at these notes visually, using Map view.  And every so often I would re-arrange some, clustering them roughly using Adornments.  A few also got linked.
  2. About 2 months ago, I began to have a sense of what I was going to say.  So I started a new container and began roughing out an outline.  No surprise:  I tended to have this container open in Outline view, with the notes still open in Map view.  Some notes got moved into the outline, but most I just used for brainstorming.
  3. About 2 weeks ago, the outline was pretty much set in my mind. So I duplicated the container, & called it "paper."  I look at this container in Explorer view, filling out the outline with text, and keeping the other two containers also open for reference.  I also automated the process of collecting the scattered notes into the old outline, by adding a new attribute called "Section," building a series of agents that would move notes from the Notes container into the right part of the OUTLINE.  That makes it easier for me to pull stuff from them into the paper.
  4. Sometime next week, I'm going to export the draft and from then on use Word & Endnote to do the final writing & clean-up.