Posted by: nancyisanders | September 24, 2019

Writer’s Journal: Research Code

P1080450 stacking the books favorite

Okay, I’m going to share a strategy that I use that changed my life as a nonfiction writer. If you use it, I hope it will change your life too!

I create a secret code for nearly every research book I use.

See that stack of research books I used during my 2-year journey to write Jane Austen for Kids?

I created a secret code for most of them!

Here’s how I did it:

First I gathered totebags of research books from a local university about Jane Austen.

I sat down over several sessions and typed up a bibliography of all those books. (I always like to do this very first thing during the writing journey so all those titles are handy to grab when adding footnotes on my manuscript or adding research notes in my journal)

Then I gave them each a code.

For library books I borrowed, I write this code on a sticky note and stick it inside the front cover.

For research books I bought (which I did for my favorite ones I liked from the library) I just write this secret code inside the front cover.

I type this code on my bibliography. (I make sure to delete the code when I copy and paste bibliography entries into my actual end-of-the-book bibliography.)


But as you can see here in my notebook, after my table of contents, I write my FAVORITE research books here in my writer’s journal, along with their secret codes.

I also included some of my favorite INTERNET resources with their secret code on this page, too

I also glued a sturdy piece of paper up at the top right so I could flip back here often.

What do I do with these secret codes you may ask?

I’ll tell you in my next post!!!!

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