When I first started the Research Methods course this term I had no idea what my research interests/area of research were. This course not only helped me identify possible research interests but it also provided me with the scaffolding necessary to develop my original research interests into a viable and fascinating research topic.
Thanks to Kristin Luker’s “Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-glut” and Professor Galey’s lectures it made the whole research process feel less overwhelming. Though, I must admit I still wrestle with sifting through vast amounts of information and funneling it into a nicely defined research study. I recognize that just like perfecting any “craft” or skill this requires time and dedication. Ultimately, it will get easier as you gain more experience conducting research/research studies and establishing greater familiarity with numerous research methodologies.
The greatest “aha!” moment that I will take away from this course and apply to my future research projects and academic studies is that the research process is supposed to be “messy”, and at times be unsettling because it is an “iterative process”. Research studies are of more value when the researcher’s thinking is challenged and when new possibilities are explored – often resulting in several changes to the research design even when the research process is well underway. And that one of the greatest question(s) for researchers to keep in the back of their mind is, “how will my research add meaning or provide greater context to previous academic conversations?“ and “how will it make a difference in the lives of the identified stakeholders?” (Luker 2007; Galey 2013).
My question to you: how do you feel about the research process? Have your impressions/thoughts on the process evolved since taking this course?
– Frieda M.
Galey, A. (2013). INF 1240 Research Methods. Lecture conducted from University of Toronto.
Luker, K. (2008) Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-glut. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.