What One Can Learn from a Preliminary Essay

I would like to explain my blog silence for the past month or so. Throughout November I set to what I thought would be the arduous task writing of a preliminary essay. It turns out this was anything but arduous, in fact it was an enlightening experience. It really gave me a chance to decide why I am doing this project; amazingly something I thought I had done but really had not. I had touched upon certain things previously, but this essay really helped cement my reasoning behind the project. I chose not to blog during this time because I really just wanted to decide for myself why I was doing this project. Through my silence here are some of the main decisions I have made and reasoning’s I have discovered:

I discovered that deep rooted within in me is a disdain for the lack of open easily accessible ‘COST-FREE’ material online. While there are plenty of databases and subscription access materials available; I have learnt to appreciate as an undergraduate how lucky I am that my University spends countless amounts money on subscriptions to things like EBBO, ECCO and JSTOR (see research sources to access these sites). Without access to these kinds of databases I would be at a loss with my degree and this project. One of the main aims of this project is then to address these accessibility problems, by providing a cost-free accessible 18th Century text.

What I have also discovered is the endless amount of material that relates and refers to my chosen text (The true-born Englishman. a Satyr-Daniel Defoe). What I have decided therefore, which I believe has not necessarily been done before, is link a huge number of these texts directly to my chosen text (using hyperlinking). I want to create a huge network of material available all in one place, that again is free and easily accessible. It would be near impossible for me to digitise all these resources myself, however I am going to do the hard graft and search deeply for where these materials are freely available and link them to my text.

I also had a long think upon which readership I was aiming at. ‘Who I am doing this for?’ was constantly at the forefront of my mind. After planning and deciding on why I was doing this project and discovering problems I wanted it to address, the readership just fell in place. Conclusively what this essay taught me therefore was that I want my project to provide a cost-free open resource linked to many different related materials; for use by students, scholars and academics.

(As always, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, things you think I may have missed and potential mistakes you think I may have made, etc.) 



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