Friday, June 3, 2011

Research, The Joy and The Pain Part Five

The Importance of Being Organized.

Now is the time to tidy up the loose ends. The research is finished, the story plotted and the kernels of gleaned research knowledge are inserted in all the correct places. Facts have been checked and re-checked, but before you think you have seen the last of the research, think again.
Now is the part I like least; cataloguing the sources of your research. You will need to create a file, either hard copy or digital, of the sites on the internet you used, a list of all reference books you consulted and most importantly, if you have used a direct quote from a source you will need to ask for permission to include it in your work. Some older material may be considered in the “public realm”, meaning there are no copyrights attached to it, in this case you don’t need to ask permission to use the piece, but it is a good idea to give acknowledgment to the source where you found it.
Permissions can be frustrating and time consuming. You must ascertain who exactly you need to ask, easier said than done in many cases. Next, you send off your request to use the passage and wait…and wait…and wait. Sometimes the copyright holder may stipulate strict conditions under which you may use their work, and/or they may ask for some form of payment or royalty. It is often easier to avoid the use of copyright material in your work.
Depending on the genre of your work you may wish to include a bibliography at the end, this is where you can also publish your permissions acknowledgements if you have them. For any books which you are hoping to get into the educational system, you will prepare a Teacher’s Guide which will list all your sources of information, along with a bibliography and some suggested lesson plans and activities to enhance the educational aspects of your novel.
Earlier, I mentioned the importance of keeping a file of all the places you gathered the information for your research. If you have done so, it makes the organizing at this stage pretty simple and not too onerous. When this step is complete, you are finished…until your next project anyway.
My concluding comments for this workshop will post at 7:00 PM Stick with me, we’re almost there!


Lisa Forget said...

Backing up all this information is also a really, really, good idea. I learned that first hand when - yes you know what I'm going to say - my computer crashed!

Thank you for the very good advice regarding the use of copyrighted material.

Another great post! Merci!!

Nancy Bell said...

Hi Lisa, I am terrible for printing stuff out, I know it is on the hard drive but I'm an old dog and I love my printed paper. LOL I have back ups to my back ups.


Unknown said...

I have to agree with you on the printing things out, I still like to hold the paper.... at least I recycle! Thank you for doing this, I know that this is going to help not only me, but with teaching the girls.