Beginning the first few pages of my research paper was beneficial for me to get over any slumps I have felt. Even if the first few pages change by the end of the semester, the process now allows me to map where I want my project to go. The paper feels more clear than earlier in the research process, but I still have more work to do. Taking my general theme of Chicago Catholic women of the 1920s, I was able to create a logic which I will follow in the outline of my essay. Beginning with an exploration of both Catholic-specific expectations for women, and general 1920s expectations, I will delve into the woman’s relationship with balancing the two and the Church’s attempts to stay relevant in the lives of a new generation of women. I will also seek the new communities women formed if they decided to split with the Catholic Church.
Although the process is overwhelming at times, it is beneficial to face more frustrations in the beginning stages of the process than when you are 20 pages in and decide you still do not know what you are doing, or decide to completely change your topic (with the limited time we have). I am just happy to have started writing, instead of sitting around and stressing about this.
On Wednesday, Dale Winling had a talk on Chicago politics and the benefits in voting maps and data found. Winling stressed the importance of digital sources and projects to education and the need to embrace changes in the technological world by digitizing resources. For me personally, the talk reiterated the possibilities in digital sources for completing research. However, as Winling emphasized the struggle in digitizing sources, it is important to remember that not everything is digitized for you to use, and it’s important not to rely on just one outlet— traditional or digitized. It is important not to ignore digital sources, but it is not something to completely rely on, even if they grant access to what was inaccessible before.