Research: Outline

These past few weeks I’ve been collecting a lot of articles and resources on my topic idea with the ultimate goal of narrowing down my idea. I felt like I needed to see what sort of information was out there before I could really settle on a final idea. Since my outline is due tomorrow, I must make my final decisions today.

The approach I took worked really well for me. As I’ve been reading my articles and books, I’ve been writing down some of the basic ideas I’m interested in on post-it-notes and taping them to my wall. It has always helped me to see all options in front of me, so I can organize and edit as I go. Having the ideas on a separate piece of paper makes it easy to organize and group related information. These are all of my notes grouped together by idea:

It was finally time to sit down and gather my ideas in a uniform manner and come up with a final idea. After careful consideration, editing, and adding, I came up with my rough draft of an outline:

While translating the wall outline to paper, I edited and added again. Finally, the final edit was translating the written outline to the computer. I highly recommend this approach. It made the editing easier and really helped me realize the gaps in my research and where to go from here.

Here is my final outline. (WordPress will not show the original outline formatting.)

Residual Memory and Our Place in the World: Will we be remembered when we are gone?

I. Introduction
A. Mortality
1. Our need to remember and be remembered
2. Connecting with memories and family
II. Truth & Reality: Believing in the past
A. Myth
1. Stories passed down from generation to generation
2. The beginning of memory
B. Reality
1. Evidence of existence
2. Traces left behind
III. Memory & Time
A. Non-linear time
1. The “aura” of trace
2. Genetic likeness
B. Linear time
1. Evidence
2. Collection
a. Questioning existence
b. Organizing
1. Family photos
IV. How photography changed our reality and memory
A. Portraits
1. Painted portraits
a. Formal
b. Informal
2. Photographic Portraits
a. Formal
b. Informal
B. Photography as evidence
1. Evidence of existence
2. Testimony of time
C. Photography manipulated
1. Context of photo
2. Untold stories
a. Who took the photo?
b. What can’t be seen
3. Anti-memory
4. Photo-editing software and technology
V. Our trace today
A. Digital Photography
1. How we collect and share photos today
B. Influence of the world wide web
1. Genealogical websites
2. Blogging
VI. Conclusion
A. Collecting and passing on family history
1. Technology has influenced multiplicity of old family photos.
2. Digital photography and sharing photos
a. Advantages
b. Disadvantages

I welcome any feedback on organization, content, further research, or anything else you can think of.

I hope this post isn’t too boring! It’s just what I am focusing on right now. I am getting a little done in the studio, but I’m not ready to post about that yet. I will try and share in the coming weeks while I’m writing this paper. Thanks for visiting!



Filed under Inspiration, Memory, Photo, Trace

4 responses to “Research: Outline

  1. This is very interesting stuff you are thinking about and just reading it got my mind clicking it. 1) I just came back to my house in Montana and found a bird in my freezer – I had planned to make a mold of it for an art project but had forgotten about it. This post reminded me of this forgotten bird and the resting quilts. 2) I thrift alot and often find family photos. I often wonder about these anonymous people, how their photos were separated from family; 3) How family photos become markers for specific memories and the other memories (not photographed) fall away. So every time we take out the old books we remember the same things but never dig deeper. Sorry for the long-a** comment, but you inspired me!

  2. Thanks so much for commenting, Heidi! I’m glad I got you thinking!


  3. beyondsuccess

    That is a pretty good post.

  4. jan

    really connect with your work and thinking
    how long is the research project looks like
    a life times commitment !
    Keep up the good work

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