I still have anxieties about writing academic papers and specifically research papers. Though I consider myself to have adequate writing skills, I’ve learned that more than writing goes into composing a research study. As educators, our primary purpose is to acquire the tools we need to shape lives, give them imagination, creativity and all the other skills children need to become positive and productive adults. Research helps us finds answers to tough issues. It’s like building a car. First you ask yourself the important question of why is this topic important to me and what can I share with a community of peers and experts to make our jobs easier. From there you build on what design method best fits the research, quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods. Who are your participants and how do you go about gathering the necessary data that supports your research? In conducting observations, interviews or questionnaires, researchers have an ethical responsibility not only to the participants but to themselves as well. Research, no matter the topic, should be fair, accurate and unbiased as possible, but also should point out the limitations and challenges encountered. The final requirement is validate your findings and discuss the equity that the research brings to your field of expertise or knowledge.
Although I still get anxious when conducting research, I now have a better understanding on the mechanics it takes to build an informative and accurate research study. My comfortable level of understanding them has definitely increased. Many thanks to our professor and my colleagues for the wonderful insight and collaborations we’ve shared this semester. Though this course was extremely challenging, it has been one of the best I’ve had to date.