Doc Carney

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Archive for the ‘Get Organized!’ Category

Tech Tip 1: Study Slides

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Here’s an idea: use slides from your professor’s presentations as the “wallpaper” for your Windows screen.  Check out the Lifehacker article, “Set Study Slides as Rotating Wallpaper,” here: http://bit.ly/blCAXB.

Just imagine making this diagram (right) of a theoretical mercantile empire I prepared for my Colonial America course the background of your Windows desktop!  You’d have it down in no time!  You’d be inspired to dig deeper into the nature of Anglo-French-Dutch trade in the eighteenth century! You’d leap with joy when you learn the details of the Hat Act of 1732, or the Iron Act of 1750! You’d . . . . okay, just take a look at the article.

How to Find Sources in the Hannon Library (Part 4)

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

The series continues . . .

1. Develop a list of search terms.
2. Develop a list of search sources.
3. Create a working bibliography.
4. Sort your sources.
5. “Mine” for Citations.
6. Create Final Bibliography.

4.Sort your sources. Make two piles of your sources cards: one for items the Hannon library owns, and one for items you must request from Summit or ILL. Once you have the two piles, order either the Summit or ILL items online. You should have the books you’ve ordered within two days. For the items the Hannon Library owns, I suggest you try to use them in the library. That way, when you run across a citation in one of the books, you can add it to your working bibliography and, if SOU has the book, you can deal with it immediately.

For citations that refer to journal articles, some may be available as “full text” online. These can usually be saved as PDF files and examined later. Some articles, though, you may have to pull the bound volumes in the SOU collection. In a few cases, you may need to use the ILL system to order an article. It could come to you as either a paper copy or as a PDF file via email.

The series continues with “How to Find Sources in the Hannon Library (Part ).”

How to Find Sources in the Hannon Library (Part 3)

Friday, November 20th, 2009

The series continues . . .

  1. Develop a list of search terms.
  2. Develop a list of search sources.
  3. Create a working bibliography.
  4. Sort your sources.
  5. “Mine” for Citations.
  6. Create Final Bibliography.

3. Create a working bibliography. With your list of search terms and sources to search, begin to collect a bibliography of books, articles, and perhaps primary sources on your topic. It is usually most convenient to use blank or lined index cards to record each citation you wish to pursue. Adopting a standard format for your citation cards will help you later. Each card should include the following information: (more…)

How to Find Sources in the Hannon Library (Part 1)

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

The Len and Dixie Hannon Library at Southern Oregon University is small compared to many academic libraries, but its history collections are well-developed and cover most of world history. Students facing the task of locating useful and important source materials can find themselves confused and lost in a maze of books, journals, and reference materials.

Nevertheless, most student research will require at least some use of off-campus or electronic delivery of books and articles. The Summit Union Catalog Consortium, of which the Hannon Library is a member, can provide most of what you need from off-campus with only a few days wait. Items not held within the Summit system can be requested by ILL with delivery times in most cases of one to two weeks. Given the short academic terms at SOU, early planning and preparation in your research is a must.

Over the next several postings, I will present a number of ideas and suggestions to make your library research task easier and more satisfying.

Here is an outline of the library research process.

  1. Develop a list of search terms.
  2. Develop a list of search sources.
  3. Create a working bibliography.
  4. Sort your sources.
  5. “Mine” for Citations.
  6. Create Final Bibliography.

1. Develop a list of search terms. You will use these to search on-line in the Summit union catalog (which of course includes materials owned by SOU), and to search in printed indexes, bibliographies, and other finding aids. (more…)

Getting Things Done

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

GTD_bookHere’s a quote from David Allen’s, Getting Things Done (2001):

It’s possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control. . . . [There are] two key objectives: (1) capturing all the things that need to get done–now, later, someday, big, little, or in between–into a logical and trusted system outside of your head and off your mind; and (2) disciplining yourself to make front-end decisions about all the “inputs” you let into your life so that you will always have a plan for “next actions” that you can implement or renegotiate at any moment.

I began to follow Allen’s ideas a couple of years ago, but more so in the last month. I’ll have more to share about this “Getting Things Done” (GTD) method as the fall term progresses. But you can start to do something now if you like: sit down with a yellow pad and begin a list of every thing you need to do in all the aspects of your life–school, church, family, relationships, hobbies, household, legal, automotive, financial, and so forth. Try to get it all out. Look around for reminders to prompt you. You can work on this here and there as you get time. Carry a small notebook or index cards in your pocket to capture things as they occur to you.

Next time, I’ll share ideas about what you can do with your list and how it can be the beginning of a new way of maintaining “relaxed focus.

Stay well, do good work, enjoy yourself.

Doc Carney