Saturday, August 27, 2011

lit review days

Today and tomorrow are lit review days. It's amazing how far I've come in that regard. A few years ago, I'd moan and groan over a paper with a 20-source requirement, then struggle to find 21 sources to write about (gotta go the extra mile, you know, haha). One thing I've heard a lot from friends and others is "I don't think I could ever write more than 10 pages about anything." I was in that camp myself. Paper's now about 85 pages long and I can probably double that before it's due. And there is no page requirement, or source requirement. If I could say all that I needed to say (to make it legit) in 5 pages, they'd pass it. John Nash (the scientist who inspired the movie A Beautiful Mind) wrote a doctoral thesis of less than 30 pages in length.

The point is that whatever you're doing, you're doing it thoroughly. When you cross that threshold between 'what's required' and 'what's enough,' it's hard to decide when it's enough. But generally I find that if I have to ask myself "is that enough?", it won't be.