Thursday, May 25, 2006

My Life as a (Faux)Geek

Some days I realize I'm a geek, or at least a faux-geek. Yesterday was one of those days, and the realization leaked over into today. The occasion for this particular realization was that yesterday I got my student copy of my new bibliographical software program (Endnote), and I got inordinately excited about it. (To be fair, at least I'm surrounded by other academics, so I found other people who thought it was cool too. Plus, I wouldn't be quite as excited about it had I not gotten my copy only a few days after my thesis proposal was officially accepted.)

The thing is that it is a wonderful program for a girl embarking on a 80-100 page M.A. thesis with 50 or more books and articles that I'll be trying to read, keep straight, and potentially quote. What it does is allow you to search for, then download reference information for books, articles, etc. from various databases and library sites. When researching, you can save your notes for the reference in with the rest of the information. Then as you type your paper in Word and add a quotation, it allows you to easily choose the source from the list and formats the citation information and works cited information for you in whatever format you need it in.

Anyway, I'm told that it takes a little time to learn up front, but is indispensible for a large project like a thesis or dissertation. We'll see. If it does half of what it promises, it will help with my thesis. Together with my other favorite organization software tool, StickyBrain (which allows me to right-click and save and organize notes and articles from the Web), I should have to spend a lot less time losing things, then re-researching them later. (Provided, of course, I take notes efficiently the first time from those pesky print sources.)

5 comments:

Jodie Boyer said...

You look to Victorian to be a geek or faux geek...

A said...

I'm jealous of this Endnote program! Let me know how it goes. It's probably too late for my M.A. thesis, but I'm sure my dissertation will have even more pesky secondary sources to organize.

A said...

I'm jealous of this Endnote program! Let me know how it goes. It's probably too late for my M.A. thesis, but I'm sure my dissertation will have even more pesky secondary sources to organize.

Fluffica said...

when are you coming back deb?

Earl the Girl said...

I don't think I like this at all! An orderly thesis you say? I'll tell you one thing I don't like:change.

at all. of any kind. ever.

and with that, I too am hella-jealous.