Research | Writing | Digital Humanities | Biblical Studies

The Scholarly Workflow

The Scholarly Workflow

While waiting for our coffee to brew (via the French press), a friend and I were chatting a bit about the scholarly workflow, the process of researching and writing (and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting).

Shortly after, about an hour into my own work in the Gospel of Luke, I made a number of observations that are potentially significant for my thesis. These are always exciting moments of research, but then again, these are moments that test one’s workflow:

  • How will I document these observations?
  • How will I organize these observations to ensure I come back and incorporate them into my work?
  • Should I further investigate these discoveries now or come back to them later?
  • How will I come to conclusions once I have a handle on the data?
  • How will I present the data and argue for its significance?
  • How much work will I do rewriting and perfecting my argument?

The last two points are no less important than the others, and these, I think, are how scholarship happens. It’s one thing to make an observation, to connect the dots, etc., but another to put it down on ‘paper’, to form an argument, and to articulate a position clearly.

Any secrets to a successful workflow out there? Do share!

3 Responses to The Scholarly Workflow

  1. I would have saved a ton of time and effort, and avoided lots of mental clutter, if writers spent more time on the rewriting stage. Lots of times, the person who starts to write doesn’t know exactly how they will end their project. And since this unknown becomes known AS the writing proceeds (in one draft or another), this newly-known info often should affect (improve) the structure of the document. So part of the workflow is to re-make the trail behind WHILE clearing the path ahead. Often these improvements, if thoughtfully done, will make the writing much more concise and meaningful.

Leave a reply