Hi everyone, my name is Courtenay Telford. I have an Honours Bachelor of Arts in history and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. I am in the LIS path. I am interested in government documents, reference, and special libraries.
I found the readings to be very helpful with how to go about conducting research. I liked how Luker talked about being open to different research methods instead of just one set method. I think that mixed methods is a valuable way of conducting research instead of just doing quantitative or qualitative because both methods have their weaknesses and by mixing the two one can compensate for that. In regards to the salsa dancing title I find that it suits how Luker presents the material. Salsa dancing has a few basic steps that are built upon and Luker does the same in her book by laying out the fundamentals in regards to research that can be developed upon.
Knight discussed the importance of private writing before it becomes public and the different methods that one can use to help them develop their research. Private writing entails one’s thinking process and how they will go about answering their research questions and more importantly establishing one before they go about deciding what methods to use. Knight provides good examples of how to develop a research question and shows what questions are good and which ones are bad, as well as, provides an explanation. Knight makes an important point about reading is key in helping to develop a research question. A person who does not know what they are particularly interested in will look at general topics then from those topics decided what he or she is interested in, which will make the research more specific and a research question will begin to emerge. Once the research question is established the person has to make sure it is clear and has a purpose that is meaningful.
When I usually come up with ideas while researching I write them down in a notebook or binder if I am not at the computer at the time. Usually I write down my thoughts surrounding my idea and why I feel that way about it. When I am reading books or articles I normally write summaries of the main ideas and arguments presented, as well as, recording what chapters or pages I got the ideas from. I like to have an outline or map mind of what I am intending to write or go with my research. I agree with Knight that it is important to have colleagues look over one’s work before it is fully finished because it provides feedback on how one can improve their work.
Hi, this is Milo. I’m from Alaska originally, but have been living in Seattle for the past several years. I studied music as an undergraduate before switching majors and graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in communications with a journalism emphasis. I’m here pursuing an MI degree. I have been leaning toward the CIS path, but after the reading for this class this week I’m starting to consider the thesis option as well.
When I thought about topics that would be fun to research, right away I remembered these charts I had seen on political polarization and education level. I tracked down the original blog post here. It runs counter to our intuition that education would make someone less likely to answer a question correctly, but the thinking here is that this is due to elite signaling, and an arguably rational “outsourcing” of thinking on complex issues to opinion leaders.
As interesting as this subject is to me, I kind of ran into a ditch when I got to the part in the Luker reading where she talks about coming up with specific, meaningful questions. The only thing I can think of is perhaps I should “review the literature”, or some of it anyway, as I’m sure there’s a great deal more research on the subject that I know nothing about. If anyone has any reactions, that could be helpful too.
Hello Group 5ers!
My name is Emma Blackburn. I went to Wilfrid Laurier University and graduated with a Honours BA in English and History. I have not done any schooling for about two years now so this course has kind of scared the living daylights out of me. I am glad to find that I am not the only one feeling overwhelmed by this though. I have never really done a research proposal so this, to me at least, is a huge adjustment but I hope I can rise to the challenge and do well.
I found both Luker and Knight’s works extremely valuable and kind of a relief in reading them. I found Knight’s advice about keeping a journal or paper on hand as well as the advice about organizing the material we’ve written into certain folders or files so that when we go to do the paper we already have categories, ideas, and even evidence. Luker’s book I have found to be very entertaining and engaging. The fact that Luker advises us to do research on something we find we are passionate about is good advice in certain respects because it will help motivate us, but for me I find it difficult to hone in on one area that I am ‘passionate’ about. I like the exercises that are given at the end of Luker’s chapters but like Jordan I found the first one difficult to do. A lot of my questions were very broad and at some points not even related to information studies haha. Nonetheless they are helpful in that they are motivating me to start doing work and brainstorming.
Hey, I’m Jordan. I did my bachelor’s in English Lit at the University in Calgary so, like Jessica, the idea of doing research, research that isn’t finding references that support whatever I’m saying, is a little scary. Like everyone else, I’m just taking the course as a requirement for the LIS path. The topics that interest me are more literary and cultural than they are sciencey (or social sciency?): western pop culture and representations gender and sexuality.
I guess my reaction to the Luker text was mostly relief. It makes a point to remind the reader of the benefits of an interdisciplinary (as a first year student, I’ve noticed how often this word pops up in every one of my classes) approach, so that I wasn’t left feeling, like I had felt initially, that my literary background would have nothing to do with research.
My least favourite part was the exercise at the end of the first chapter. I couldn’t think of what exactly to write, what sort of question I’d want to interrogate, even if I have a grasp on the sort of issues that interest me. And I was a little put off by being told to set my kitchen timer (I was in the library) for fifteen minutes. I think my question will be something I revisit after giving some more thought.
My name is Hannah and I’m also in my first year in the MI program. I’m doing a collaborative program — sexual diversity studies — and I’m also probably following the LIS path. I did my BSc in psychology and biology at Waterloo. I’ve been at of school for about 2 years now so I’m a bit nervous about getting back to it.
Like Jessica, I was also interested in how much both Luker and Knight emphasize writing throughout a research project. It’s definitely a departure from what I’ve known before. I did a research methods course in my undergrad, and the structure there was more: decide your topic, read the literature, pinpoint your question, then start writing. I think it might be a good idea to start writing as soon as possible. That way, you’ll probably have much of the background of your paper written before you know it.
Hi team! My name is Jessica, and I am in my first year of LIS at the iSchool. I did my undergrad degree in English Lit at UBC where I specialized in Victorian Mystery, so information sciences are very new to me. To be honest I am still trying to figure out what I’d like to be doing once I’ve finished my MI. Right now I am thinking about rare books and special collections, but I expect it to change as I take more classes, and learn more about different career possibilities. Information Science already appears to be such a broader field than I imagined! I am a bit nervous about Research Methods as I have never taken a class like this before, and have very little experience researching anything (most English papers are primarily text-based), so it is quite daunting.
I did like the writing exercises suggested in both the Luker and Knight books, and I think that those could be a really helpful starting point. It was also interesting that Luker was emphatic on the point of researching something that you were interested in or passionate about, and that Knight advised that that is not always the best course of action. Some good food for thought.
I’ll see you all on Wednesday!
Hi everyone. My name is Yona. I am entering my second year of the MI program and I just want to say how jealous I am of everyone just starting their first year because you do not have to take the “core” courses. You are all very fortunate. My undergraduate degree was in Art History and Classical Civilizations and I am particularly interested in Classical art as well as the influence of classical themes and philosophies in the Renaissance. My goal is to combine my interests in LIS and art history and work in the field of art librarianship. I am taking the art librarianship course now and it looks to be very stimulating. I try to integrate art and art history into as many classes and assignments as I can and I’m hoping to do the same with this course…now just to figure out how…