Brittany asked us today what our experience was with research papers.  Who taught us?  Did we teach ourselves?

Well, some of both.  I remember several research papers that I completed in school.  In seventh grade, we were asked to choose a topic.  I chose the Brooklyn Bridge (an early interest in architecture).  Not only were we initiated into the ways and hows of navigating the card catalogue in the library, I was required to complete and turn-in a stack of 3×5 notecards.

Thinking back, perhaps there’s some reason why, in this digital age, when I have googledocs documents, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets of sources, electronic filing systems, and Refworks accounts at the university library, even now, I sometimes think my academic research would be more effective if I just went back to 3×5 cards again.

There’s something so tactile and versatile about 3×5 cards.  Like the dissertation advice I received to cut my draft up on paper in order to rearrange it, 3×5 cards can be stacked and lined up in infinite orders.  This small reflection nudges me to research 3×5 card-making apps on my computer.  I had one a decade ago, but I never printed out my entries.  I rarely looked at them, and soon reverted back to taking notes in Word.  Would a different application enable me to print and cut up, or rearrange ideas on my screen in a visually stimulating way?