Tag Archives: research

Why I can’t quit FileMaker Pro

Every few months history Twitter runs a thread about what software to use for note-taking. (See, e.g., threads recently started by Austin McCoy and J.Meléndez-Badillo.)

I wrote a whole chapter of The Princeton Guide to Historical Research on this topic, the gist of which is that historians have mostly abandoned our simple, easy-to-teach system based on 5 x 8 inch notecards, but we have yet to settle collectively on a computerized system to replace it.

Here are some more thoughts along those lines, and an explanation of the centrality of FileMaker Pro to my workflow for major projects.

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How to Write a Prospectus

I have posted a new page, “How to Write a Prospectus.”

A dissertation prospectus is an essay arguing that you have found a research problem whose solution merits thousands of hours of your time; hundreds of hours of the time of your various advisors and committee members as well as that of librarians, archivists, and other people of good will; and, if you are lucky, some public or foundation funds toward your research expenses. Though the dissertation you complete will likely differ significantly from the one you conceive, you should be able at least to sketch out a viable project before attempting to write one.

Comments appreciated as always.