A few years back, I watched a CSPAN2 interview that changed the way I write major papers. The program was Booknotes, and the guest was Pulitzer Prize winner, Taylor Branch. What I like about Booknotes is that they sometimes venture into the author’s office to get a feel for how he or she actually tackles the grimy business of research.
Branch did not disappoint. To research his three-volume biography of Martin Luther King Jr., he made use of a massive Microsoft Accessdatabase. In one ta...