Essay How Computer Software Can Be Useful For A Historian

819 Words Sep 28th, 2016 4 Pages
I was first introduced to computer software, as a method for organizing collected data, at a Filed Methods seminar I took with Dr. Maureen Porter in the 2016 spring semester. Dr. Porter gave a brief presentation about NVivo that showed how using computer software as a research tool not only assisted with organizing data, but also helped analyze data with better time management. Based on Dr. Porter’s presentation, NVivo seemed to me to make the research process easier, or as Grant Blank states, “Good qualitative software makes good research easier…by helping researchers organize their research.” However, I wondered how useful computer software could be for my own research, especially if I would be working exclusively with textual documents. But Dr. Porter’s course – Qualitative Data Management, Analysis and Presentation – has helped me better understand how computer software can be valuable to historians. For this paper I will discuss how using NVivo will help me for my future research, and I will identify and explain how specific features can be useful for a historian. Writing a literature review seems to be common practice across disciplines, as it not only shows a researcher’s acquaintance with debates and trends found in their research topic, but also helps the researcher frame their own work. But how can NVivo, or any other computer software, be a worthwhile tool for literature reviews? A summary of DiGregorio’s article about using Nvivo for literature…

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