Research Update

I’m totally bummed, missing DH, and all around hating military life today, so I’m trying to get my head around school instead.

My thesis research is coming to an end, whether I’m done or not.  Here’s the update:

  1. Secondary sources (monographs) from the library–collected, 10-20% notes taken
  2. Secondary sources (journal articles) from scholarly databases–collected, 30-40% notes taken
  3. Primary sources @ Smithsonian Postal Archives–90% completed
  4. Primary sources @ National Archives (Civil War papers)–done!
  5. Primary sources @ National Archives (Postal Deptartment papers)–done!
  6. Primary sources @ National Archives (Legislative papers)–to do 😦
  7. Secondary sources @ National Archives (Government serial set)–98% completed

I’m going downtown tomorrow and hope to finish the Legislative papers and the files at the Postal Archives.  I’m a little worried because I’m not totatlly sure how much I’m going to find in the Legislative papers.  Based on past research days, I’m hoping it’ll be about a half day’s worth of material so I can swing by the Postal Archives and see the last few files there.  I’m leaving next Wednesday for Red’s house, so I have very, very little time to finish.  I plan on taking most of the secondary sources with me to work on over the next two-three weeks while I’m there.

Concerns:

  1. Once I start writing, I’ll realize I don’t have enough material.
  2. I don’t have enough journal articles.
  3. I don’t have enough background, historical foundation for the military and U.S.
  4. This topic was stupid from the beginning, and I have no argument.
  5. I forgot to look somewhere important for material and am now out of time.

I need to write at least a page a day starting September 1st to be done on time.  I feel like I’m pretty on schedule, and that’s what’s worrying me.  I can get more secondary sources while I’m at Red’s on baby duty, but I am totally out of time on collecting primary information.  My adviser is useless, so I feel a little like I’m winging this whole process.  He’s the type of guy who will stay silent until it’s too late and then tell me I’m completely on the wrong track.  Yikes.

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