I have (late-diagnosed) ADHD & I've just become a graduate student. I'm medicated, and under the care of professionals. This question is about best methodologies in graduate studies, particularly in remembering research I've read.
posted by b33j to Education (9 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
My memory sucks. For example, when I visit my doctor or psychiatrist, who I've seen multiple times before, I need to check their address, and floor, multiple times, on the way. (I know what street they're on, all my health providers are on the same street). I am an excellent problem solver but retaining information is problematic.
I have just started a graduate diploma in research (in the field of Education - not my undergraduate degree area, but I've worked as a research assistant in this area for at least 5 years, because I have so many different skills, and I met a bunch of up and coming academics in this field 10 years ago and they recognised my diverse skills and smarts).
I have to learn qualitative & quantitative methodologies, do a lit review, a different annotated bibliography, and then in second semester, a dissertation.
My current systems for conquering work include using Google calendar to remind me to come back to things (once they're off my desk, they're gone for ever, unless something reminds me) as well as a physical diary system (personally designed daily pages to remind me to do things, times of the day to do things and task list on each page). If this seems like overkill to you, I have to tell you, it works for me and is necessary. My personal diary system is in a little hole punched folder (A5) where I keep passwords, phone numbers, prescriptions, books to read, ideas, and so on. As well as that, I use my iPhone heaps, I make notes in meetings and email them to myself. (Notes in notebooks tend to get lost, as do notebooks).
So, I'm going to read up on what a lit review is, what an annotated bibliography is, and what a dissertation is. What I want to know is, as a grad students, what methods did you utilise to draw together complex ideas AND maintain referencing (as an undergrad, when writing a paper, I would say something I thought was right and then look for an article that supported me - I'm doing it in the opposite direction now).
I don't need suggestions on how to find articles (I'm very good at that). It's collating the data in a way that
a. will make sense,
b. will be easy & hopefully fun to use,
c. will mean I don't accidentally plagiarise someone by having read them and then forgotten that I've read that idea and think of it as my own.
d. will collect the data, ideas etc, in a way that I can use easily to pull together reports etc.
Feel free to be innovative - for example, I know about mind maps but I don't know if they can hold all the information I'm going to need to pull together. The learning curve on any (free) software can be steep but short. I have collected a zillion PDFs already and have PDF annotator software on my ipad, and Adobe Acrobat on my PC. I use Endnote.
I have plenty of wall space for post it notes.