Posts Tagged ‘minutiae’

I have started writing my Friday paper, which, considering it is only Tuesday is pretty sweet. I’m still working on the introduction, however, on page two of what is to be a twelve to fifteen page paper. I’m nowhere near the meat of the paper.

This is partially because of some evident moves of procrastination (i.e. checking the e-mail, the blogs, what have you- being sans internet is way more productive for me, but as I need to check citations, etc. I don’t feel like shutting it off completely), but also because this prof prefers footnotes and I have, to this point in my scholarly career, been schooled in internal documentation. That approach to citation I can do in my sleep. Footnotes, um… it is as if I am an infant… so much to learn.

So… I’ve been learning as I go today, consulting Turabian (admittedly an older edition than the one to which I’ve linked here) more times than I can count. I could leave the citations for later, and perhaps, this would mean I’d be on page seven and into the meat of things, but… it seems to me that that approach invites overlooking proper citation, and other errors I wish not to perpetrate in my first substantial doctoral paper.

Thus far today, I have discovered, with glee, that ATLA is a great help in proper citation form. And I have a “works cited” list started, and several footnotes (8 to be precise), fulfilling various functions already at play in my two short pages (all the shorter because of the footnotes. I’m beginning to get the feeling that page limits (already challenging for wordy me) are going to be all the more difficult given the space consumed by footnotes. Then again, maybe I’ll find a way to be more concise. That is a good goal for these years of study. And it is nice to see the pages ticking away all the faster as I go.

So, friends, what is your vote? Clearly e-mail, blogs, etc. are procrastination. But is painstaking attention to citation that blocks the flow of writing also procrastination?

I think my vote is that it is productive procrastination.

I need to eat some lunch. That is not procrastination. That is necessity- the baby tells me so.

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