Whichever type of source
material you wish to begin with (perhaps it will be both types)
you will need to order and structure your results.
When I was doing my PhD I made numerous searches for
articles. I used online bibliographies, library
catalogues, journal websites and even general searches on
Google. Sometimes I would jot down everything that I
found on a given subject, other times I just took the source
material, read it, consumed the information, and put it
directly into my rough drafts.
This works well enough, but I quickly found that it was
inefficient. I would repeat the same searches over and
over again and was rarely certain when I’d read something, or
even if I had read everything on a subject that I should have
done. It wasn’t uncommon for me to print off the same
article more than once, and even to start reading it from
scratch believing It to be my first reading.
History PhD Student’s comments
Reading lists can be compiled any number of ways. You
might wish to use bibliographical tools such as Endnote or
Zotero; you may prefer just to create a mini-bibliography of
your own using a simple text document. This course will
talk more about these approaches, but whichever route you take
you will need to consider not only your indexing and listing
method, but also how you plan to access those sources.
Will you create links to where they are online or note down
their location in libraries and archives? Will you
download files? Pdf version of articles, for
example? If so where do you plan to store them and how do
you plan to be able to access them and find them easily and