Week Ten: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I feel like my head is going to explode. As someone who did not grow up in the digital age, I have to say it can be very daunting. On the other hand, I have learned so many great things through digital archives since starting my studies at UMW.

One of the digital tools that I have been hesitant to try is Zotero. Laugh if you must, but I still sit in the library going through print sources with index cards, taking notes. I love the feeling of an actual book and it is easier for me to read a print source. However, with my senior thesis looming in the very near future, I may need to change things up. Ansley Erickson mentions Zetero in her article Historical Research and the Problem of Categories: Reflections on 10,000 Digital Notecards (2012 revision) https://writinghistory.trincoll.edu/data/erickson-2012-spring/. She begins her article by stating how confused history students become researching information (And we do!). For me, I often times feel like a dog chasing its tail when I’m conducting research. After reading this article, I think it is time for me to move forward and embrace Zetero (or another tool like it) before I tackle my thesis.

As a student, I have been taught to question digital sources and to truly scrutinize a digital source before I use it. I have even been taught this by my history professors. What has not been drilled into me is that good research and data is just that: good. The research has been either good or bad. The data collected is either good or bad.

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