Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An Old School, but Great Book

Too often, I think some (not all) new scholars discount writing resources that were written BW (Before the Web). It is true, some of the tools that we have available to us make some suggestions passe at best, and obsolete at worst.  For give us-some of us fossils even completed some of our university education on typewriters; can you imagine. Each day, having to ride my pet brontosaurus back to my dorm and write my papers "old school."

Yet, the "bones" of many books on writing written in days of yor' are still excellent. Perhaps none better than "Writing for Social Scientists" by Howard Becker. I really don't want to even dissect many of its great insights, but instead implore you to find a copy and read it.

Of course, you can skim some of the material that seems dated, but even in his discussion of using index cards for research is based on wisdom that I think we all can learn from. Sometimes using old world tools is one of the best ways to solve new world problems (says the guy who still likes to go to libraries and believes in journal books made of, dog (intentional use) forbid, of paper!!).

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