Tidbits for the Thinking Mind

Hello and welcome to my blog! Whether you have stumbled here by accident or the Google gods thought that my writing would interest you, welcome!

9780226065663I am currently in my last semester of college and am preparing to embark on a research journey that will eventually culminate in my senior capstone paper. In order to help me on this exploration, I have been reading The Craft of Research by Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, and Joseph Williams. Even though I have only read a few chapters, I wanted to share some quotes from the book with you in the hopes that they will speak to you about the trials and tribulations of researching as much as they spoke to me.

 

“Even experienced researchers feel anxious when they tackle a new kind of project for a new audience. So whatever anxiety you feel, most researchers have felt it too” (5).

Everyone always thinks the grass is greener on the other side; those that are professionals in their field are thought to have it easier in every facet of their expertise by those who are taking a stab at that field for the first time. But, did they not have to go through the same thing as those who are new at something in order to get to where they are? This statement made by Booth, Colomb, and Williams really opened my eyes to the fact that I am not alone when it comes to feeling overwhelmed and unsure about taking on such a huge task; all of those professors and doctors and authors that have research on the topic that I will be reading in order to fuel my own research about that very same topic have probably felt the same way as I do now when writing their articles.

 

“. . . the most important reason for learning to report research in ways readers expect is that when you write for others, you demand more of yourself than when you write for yourself alone” (13).

This is absolutely 100% accurate. When you are writing for yourself, you really do not put much effort in to explaining every detail because in your mind, you already know it and do not have to explain it to anyone but yourself. But people reading whatever you put out into the world do not know your thought process or how you got from one place to another. So you as the writer have to take the reader on a journey through your thoughts and ideas, and this journey can only be taken in the form of written research.

 

“If you can work on any topic, we offer only a cliché: start with what most interests you. Nothing contributes to the quality of your work more than your commitment to it” (36).

Nothing resonated with me more in the few sections that I have read than this quote did. For my capstone paper, I chose to work with a topic that interested me and did not really care about what fancy or out of the box idea that I could come up with. I knew for a fact that if I did the latter, then I would not be as committed to or excited about doing research than if I went with the topic that interested me. I think that Booth, Colomb, and Williams hit the nail on the head with this one and honestly, written works are more readable and interesting when the reader can tell that the writer actually enjoyed doing the work.

 

That is it for now, but check back soon because I will be posting more about my research journey as well as other tidbits of knowledge that are helping me on my quest to completing the biggest paper of my life.

Until next time.

EMC

explore. muse. create.

 

 

If you want to check out The Craft of Research, here is the information you will need!

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. Third ed. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2008. Print.

Image: The University of Chicago Press Books

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