On Intellectual Craftsmanship: Summary

957 Words Jul 7th, 2012 4 Pages
On Intellectual Craftsmanship
He offers two sorts of advice in his article on intellectual crafts:
1. How to organize your files
2. How to organize your thinking processes
In the case of files we need to think of things quite differently because of the computer. We will all have the same kind of paper files in file cabinets and in our bookshelves, but the procedures for keeping our hard drives are new and emerging. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Everyone needs a bibliography file like “Endnote” to keep a life list or lists of references. Will enable you to enter a reference once and always have it in complete form when you need it
2. You need a way to keep and use both
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it is a lot of trouble — “The purpose of empirical inquiry is to settle disagreements and doubts about facts and thus to make arguments more fruitful by basing all sides more substantively.” — excellent advice, especially for grad students who “have to” do empirical research for external reasons. (p. 205)
6. “The sociological imagination ... consists of the capacity to switch from one perspective to another, and in the process to build up an adequate view of a total society and of its components.” (p. 211ff) 1. Rearrange the files to invite imagination — serendipity, juxtaposition, analysis, taxonomy, 2. Linguistic play what do your terms and phrases mean. You should use the Oxford English Dictionary frequently! Keep track of levels of generality and specificity 2. Type, classify code and categorize — cross- reference. Draw diagrams, pictures and charts to illustrate the relations between and among variables and/or concepts 3. Examine the outliers or extremes. Don’t regress everything to the mean. Consider opposites. 4. Know the universe before you sample it. 5. Search for comparisons — and include other disciplines, history, anthropology, etc in your search. 6. A topic is a subject a theme is an idea. Study literary craft and learn how to write well If you have not read