Writing Four Sentences

How hard can it be? Writing four sentences shouldn’t take this long or be this hard!

For each article and publication that I’m reviewing for the 6511 Self Directed Learning course, I’m making an effort to not only write a four sentence summary, but also adding the citation into Zotero, within a folder for this course. This is my ‘evidence’ for reflection in action. There is a process, but it’s taking more time and effort than I anticipated. Is this what writing the dissertation will be like? or perhaps it’ll be even harder.

So, in an effort to keep track of what I’m reading and writing, I’ve decided to post and publish some of my work as I progress through this process. My pattern so far is to do a search, collect PDF reference articles, sort them into folders where they will apply. I then insert the reference citation into my BIN (a sort of annotated bibliography) for the course, or for the overall PhD focus where it fits. Then I’ll print out relevant papers and begin the reading process. Each article printed will have a checkbox for BIN, ZOTERO, and FOUR SENTENCE SUMMARY (FSS). Recently I’ve also added a check for ABIB (to make sure I’ve added it to the annotated bibliography listing).

Once the reading is done, with my highlighting and annotations evident, I’ll begin the Zotero additions, and the four sentence summaries for the block of articles I’ve just finished reading. This is where the process slows to a crawl. These four sentence summaries sometimes take more time than anticipated. These are crafted from the content, abstract, and key words in a carefully worded collection – while still trying to apply APA formatting to the whole thing, to make it easier to use in the future. I’ve changed this a bit in the doing, so may need to backtrack a bit – now I’m including the dates when naming the authors, as required in APA, but also including quotes with page references, again as required in APA. If I do this consistently, it may be easier to use this reference material in future publications and dissertation writing.

So my process is iterating in action, with shifts in how and why I’m doing things the way I’m doing them. It is very much dependent on the time I have available and the dedication I place on the tasks as I complete them.

Image attribution: Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash