Tagging Part 2

Tagging Part 2: Digitizing Tags for a Reliable Cross-Referencing System

In my Tagging Part 1 post, I define what a tag is, describe why you should consider using tags, and then give examples of how to assign tags to research article you read for your dissertation. In this post, Tagging, Part 2, I will address the number of tags you might assign each article, and then how to use the tags as part of a larger, digital cross-referencing organizational structure.

Tags Part 2

How many tags should I assign to each article?

It depends. For example, you might have found this article…

Fram, S.M. (2013). The constant comparative analysis method outside of grounded theory. The Qualitative Report, 18(1), 1-25. Retrieved http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR18/fram1.pdf

…and decided to tag it with the big picture tags

mych1; mych3

But you might also want to further determine where in those chapters the article may help. Therefore, you could ALSO add APA Heading tags. I might choose

myNoS; myDataAnal

To further narrow the usefulness of the article, you might choose to use the Library Sub-Question Letters as an additional tag.


FYI: LibSubQ-E is “Why is the methodology I’m proposing the best choice to address the problem I’ve identified?” You can learn more about LibSubQ’s in my NoteTaking post.

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Brain Dump – Dissertation thinking – unorganized

At times, and not always at the beginning, I’ll ask you to give me a “Brain Dump.” I do this because PhD students often don’t like to turn in anything unpolished to their mentor and giving it the name “brain dump” seems to provide the motivation to write something down. See, I can’t help you if I don’t know what you’re thinking. So a phone call, meeting, or brain dump on paper is necessary.

There are no requirements for the brain dump assignment. No structure, no citations, just your ideas. Organize it however you want. But if you have writers (or even thinkers) block, consider addressing one or more of these questions:

  • What do I really care about?
  • If I could study anything, what would it be?
  • Why should anybody else care about this topic?
  • Why does this matter in the grand scheme of things?
  • How can I narrow this topic to make it more doable?
  • Am I more comfortable with crunching and analyzing numbers (quantitative) or telling stories (qualitative)? Why?
  • Are there cultural, educational, or environmental stumbling blocks that are in my way of doing the study I really want to do? Can I overcome them? Or should I just move on?
  • What theories of learning, instruction, or innovation inspire me most? What studies might I make using these theories?
  • Is there a study that I’ve read recently, that made me think…”I wonder if I could do a study like this only I would…..”?

If you haven’t already, be sure to check Walden’s PhD Dissertation Page and look at all the documents under the prospectus category. Familiarize yourself with what will be expected of you in this phase.

Can’t wait to see what you “dump” on me! (Wait, that doesn’t sound right.)

~Dr. Darci