Metacognitive Essay #1
A Rogue’s Process
Justin M. Boure
A Metacognitive Salute to Marlowe & Co.
The bibliography editing activities made me reconsider how tedious, yet, important it is to ensure that citations are up to date with the most current standards. Bibliographies are often treated as obligational end of the paper annoyances for students, myself included, if I’m being honest. It wasn’t the physical act of editing them that shed light on the importance of good citation practices, rather, it was the lesson of why. This project is one of a kind and will be representative of an entire community’s effort to uncover things that have never been explored in such detail. When professionals in the field explore our website, they will have a keen eye for legitimacy and quality work. The bibliography is our chance to show how thorough our work has been and to exemplify that we haven’t cut any corners in the fascinating work that we’ve helped put together. In another sense, the bibliography is a tribute to all those who have done the leg work up front to allow us to gather, encode, and share this information with the world. After our editing activities, I now feel that good citation practices are an integral part of the process and will determine how respected and trustworthy the work is as a whole.
From cross-checking information in the Ographies and the Encyclopedia, I learned that I don’t give myself enough credit for persistence. To me, persistence is a useful skill in research because of how much effort it takes to find quality information on reputable sites. I was surprised by how many times I thought I had encountered a good source but was disappointed by its content. Or vice-versa, I found a goofy website but the information seemed legitimate. There is a balance between the visual aspect of a source, its prestige, and the information contained within. All of these things must be taken into consideration when determining whether or not identify your own work with someone else’s. For this reason, I faced a lot of rejection while researching and cross-checking information. That’s why persistence is an important research skill to have, because it can be a long road to finding information that is accurate, trustworthy, and representative of our own work.
I say with confidence that I feel as though I have met all of the learning objectives for unit one. I had never considered how much work goes into an academic website, nor did I think I would be so intrigued by a mysterious London playwright, yet, unit one opened my eyes to both of these fun new learning experiences.
The breadth, yet, detailed nature of this work captivated me from the start and provides motivation to do quality work in and of itself. The ability to work somewhat autonomously on such an important project gives this course such a cool vibe! It has been great learning about Gutenberg’s 15th Century technology and its impact on humanity. Also intriguing is the digital aspect of gathering and recording information to display on our own knowledge base. Studying Gutenberg shows that we live in a similar technological time period as those who lived through the creation of the printing press centuries ago. Weird, but awesome! Much like the way information was spread in the 1400s, it is spread now through digital humanities. Printed books were a form of cultural preservation and directly mirror the work that we are contributing to with our open-source knowledge base. The task of transcribing the early modern works in this course at first seemed like no more than a pre-requisite for the fun stuff, but the more I think about it, the remedial aspect of putting the texts into a usable format seems to be the foundation of this whole project. The transcriptions are a first step toward documenting information and using sites like the Oxford English Dictionary and Perseus Project to discover the significance of unfamiliar words and names, as is one of the many learning objectives for the course. As an individual and as a member of a team, it has been both informative and fun augmenting the “ographies” for the mini-archive and linking places in the encyclopedia to The Map of Early London. I feel as though doing these assignments in teams has brought a nice cohesive element to the classroom as it has encouraged me to discuss my work with others in class as opposed to doing my own thing.
Looking back at unit one and ahead to the finished product, I feel proud and excited about the work that I’m able to do in this class, especially knowing what a great and widespread contribution it will be. On a more personal note, I have learned a lot more from this course than I could have expected and feel enriched with information that I will likely never get to study again as an accounting major here at Stonehill. With that in mind, I like to treat each class as a new academic adventure and explore all that I can within our 1-2 hour time window. That being said, I’m eager to see what’s in store next!