Pulling Together Phenomenology Annotations

Over the last few weeks I posted my annotations from Vagle’s Crafting Phenomenological Research (introductionchapter 1, and chapter 2), with last week’s post about the highlights and insights from the first three chapters. These postings illustrate my method of annotating a book, which is much different from annotating a journal article.

The first section of the book was only 42 pages, which is quite small compared to other textbooks. Normally, I write the highlights and insights after each chapter because they usually contain much more information. The highlights and insights are important to how I write because collectively they provide me with enough information to create the narrative for a section I’m about to write.

The insights, along with questions that remain unanswered, are sometimes added to my papers. For example, the phrase “never-nothing-going-on” is an excellent phrase that will make its way into my dissertation’s methodology section. I feel it accurately describes the optimum mental approach to conducting interviews.

I don’t write out the narrative or map it out. Semi-structured writing has always worked well for me because it allows thoughts I’ve reflected on to merge with ideas from my subconscious. The narrative may change as I write, but I will always return to my highlights and insights to keep me on track. On the off chance I lose track of my narrative I’ll look at my original annotations. This provides me with further ideas and allows me to keep writing.

This is a rather time-consuming method of writing because I need time to allow ideas to percolate between writing the highlights and insights and sitting down to write. However, if I get pulled in another direction for a week or two, I can quickly review the annotations and highlights and insights to quickly begin writing.

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