Active Digestion

To digest the food you eat is for it to become part of your own body. Similarly, you have digested what you read when it becomes part of your own thinking. This requires some active strategy, such as the following:

  • Dialogue: Make notes in which you have your own dialogue with the author. (You might put the dialogue notes in brackets next to [or on a page facing] any notes you record in your notebook.) Such dialogue helps you to get clear about the following: What was argued? What was not? Where could it have been taken further? Where does all this connect with my project?
  • Annotation: For the important articles write a summary or annotation that indicates how the article relates to your project. Compiling an Annotated Bibliography not only provides bits of text to use when you write your report, but also forces you to push your own thinking further and convert what you are reading into your own material.
  • Sense-Making Response

  • Active Digestion is essential for making progress in your project in light of the 5 F's. It is easy to Find and download more articles than you have time to read. Instead of reading all of every article or getting overwhelmed and giving up, you need to Filter out readings that might seem interesting but are not important given your evolving Focus. Through Active Digestion of what you do read, you can refine your Focus.

    (See Phase B)