Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Research Rant: Getting Started

Where to start... where to start?!

This seems to be a problem that my fellow full time Masters of Education colleagues and I have faced. When it comes to writing our masters research paper (MRP) or thesis (what I am doing), it can be hard to pick a place to start. More often than not, this uncertainty leads to major procrastination or unorganized research attempts.

I have personally found that rationally telling myself that I have already started... that I have already jumped from the diving board helps to keep me motivated. It is often my highly detailed mind that wants my first 'jump into the thesis pool' to be calculated and 'just right'. This often keeps me from jumping because I worry that I won't be able to create something wonderful or 'perfect' if I start off on the wrong foot.

Some times you have to realize you are ALREADY in mid air! The decision now is not where, when, or how to jump but how to land!

(Personal photo: Our sometimes-brave dog Dover jumping into the cottage water 1997)

I decided to begin writing with my SECOND chapter (literature review) instead of the intro chapter. I find this makes more sense for how I needed to start gathering my information. I like to call this literature review phase the 'while I am still in the air' phase. While I am here (and it feels like I have been hanging midair for a few weeks now) I can see my landing (writing the intro chapter) much clearer. 


1. My advice to anyone out there writing.... well... anything, is to just start writing. Something! Anything! It is easier to edit, change, and add on to something that exists. It is hard to enhance and build upon a blank word document! 

2. My second piece of advice is to find a way to organize your research so you do not waste time going back to re-read or find accurate citations for the work you are doing. Be efficient. Be organized. More about this to come in an upcoming blog. 

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