Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Research Process

by M. J. Joachim

  • Learn:  Research involves learning new information to draw valid conclusions.  What you thought you knew often becomes obsolete in your quest for information and answers.  Think of yourself like a detective. Gather all the facts, even contradicting ones, to make an educated statement about your topic.  Present both sides of the issue, allowing the research to speak for itself.
  • Investigate:  Use multiple sources when gathering information. Sort out credible sources from non-credible sources, as well as fact from opinion. Rely on information from various media sources. Printed works, audio/video and web content all come in handy when investigating a topic. Web content may include such things as visual graphs, which can be used in your final presentation too.  Attend seminars and classes. Interview people in the know. Become one with your topic, to make it more real for your audience when they read your work. Speaking of which, it truly does help to know your audience, when you are researching and investigating your material.
  • Culminate:  While you may well have a hypothesis for your paper, the purpose of research is to prove or disprove that hypothesis, not to agree with your presumptions.  One sided research is misleading and faulty.  It often creates animosity from peers who know the work isn’t up to par.  As a writer, your job is to enlighten people with new and interesting knowledge, not tell them what to think about things.  Give your audience enough credit to make their own conclusions, based on your well written article.
Wishing you every success with your writing,

M. J. 

Photo credit:  Cameron Neylon, Research Cycle, Creative Commons Attribution
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