Print Edition Research

Researching for the print edition is going to go a little differently than researching for the digital edition. Here, we are looking for specific points to explain certain letters rather than minimal research about the context of a letter. Here are the steps we are taking to research for the print edition.


1. Check the Google doc

The Google doc is a spreadsheet of all 2700+ annotation points, and what document each point is attached to, where he annotation is located within the document, and who the annotation point is assigned to. The Google doc can be found here : [Google Doc]

[Picture of the Google doc]

2. Add your Topic to Basecamp

Each annotation is put under a Topic. Each Topic is given its own To-Do list in Basecamp. Each annotation point within that Topic is added as a To-Do in its respective To-Do list. Comments and attachments can be added to each To-Do and they can be assigned to one person, and given a due date if necessary.

3. Add your Annotation Point to Basecamp

If your topic has already been added to Basecamp, simply add the annotation point as a To-Do under the Topic's To-Do list.

4. Conduct General Research

General research is useful to gain an understanding of your topic. Google searches and Wikipedia articles are good ways to start off your research, and information from these initial sources can be useful in furthering your search.

Please be aware that we do not accept unreliable sources such as Wikipedia, personal blogs and websites, and any site that you simply don't feel comfortable with. If it doesn't fill you with confidence, it probably isn't a good site.

5. Detailed Research

  • Trusted sources include, ProQuest, Ancestry, Books, Journals (JSTOR, Hathi Trust, and Google Books are acceptable)
  • Anything from Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (3 can be found in digital form as a PDF on Tori or Cathy's computers and can be sent if necessary — it's a big file!) can be used without worry. We have Volumes 1 and 2 in print, and they are also on Google Books in almost all their entirety. These are excellent resources that you should not hesitate to use.

6. Taking Notes

Taking detailed notes is extremely important in creating an annotation. It can also help with other's annotations as they look back on previous notes to help formulate their point while saving time!

Recording Notes

  • Record the whole citation of your source so it is easy to refer back to it if needed
  • When possible, include a link to your source, or attach a PDF to your Basecamp comment
  • When taking notes, put quotes around everything that is a direct quote from that source. Paraphrasing is fine, but anything that is a direct quote must have quotes around it so we don't accidentally plagiarize.

[pic of Cathy's lovely notes]

Organization of Notes

  • For example, Cathy likes to keep all her notes in one Topic To-Do's check mark, and all notes in another Topic's check mark.
  • Tori and Stacy keep each annotation point and their notes in separate check marks.

[Show some pictures?]

Content of Notes

If an annotation point asks for something simple like, "What does this word mean?" then the research should be simple as well, as we only need to know what that word means — not what the definition of the word was through all of time.

Even if the annotation point is about a person, different amounts of research may need to be done. Some Joe Shmoe may not need a lot of research because he is just not as important as, say, an Abbott sister.

[Show images of how many notes a sister gets as compared to Shmoe]

7. Drafting the Annotation

Annotations will always be drafted by an editor: Cathy, Tori, or Stacy.

Annotations are going to stay as short as possible. While notes should be detailed just in case a piece of information is important for later, annotations should stick to the facts and only provide needed information.

  • While notes should be detailed, they should not report on information that is not relavent to the annotation point.
  • Obviously, some annotation's notes will be longer than others, like Roosevelt's, or why White Slavery was an important topic.
  • But some do not need to be long, like Joe Shmoe, or a note about George Frederick Watts' painting of Tennyson.

8. Adding the Annotation to the Document

Annotations will be written in Basecamp, then transferred to their respective spot in their respective Word documents.

Annotations will include a full citation, including page number, and the drafter's initials at the end. Initials will help to quickly show who was working on what annotation. When each annotation is edited and proofed, the initials will be deleted, indicating that the annotation is ready for publication.

9. Completing an Annotation

After an annotation is complete, that portion of the list can be checked off. Checked off items can still be searched. This is useful for researches who may be able to use previous research on their current topic.

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