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Reflection about doing research paper

Research Paper Reflection

In the research paper, I can feel my biggest change is in dealing with the structure of the whole article. The structure of the essay is already mentioned in the introduction part, so the next step is to follow the structure I have made. In other words, each part, as well as each title of paragraphs of the essay should take concerted action with the structure and the development in the the introduction. Otherwise, the introduction part will lost its function. As for my thinking aspect, the most important thing is to organize and get idea fragments in order in my mind. And now I will follow the principle of thinking first and writing second. After dividing the whole structure into some main parts, some smaller structures in each part should also be divided further. In my revision process, because of huge number of words, I firstly made a plan for the overall structure, and then for the words, finally for the content. Therefore, after finishing this essay, I have learned that breaking up the goal is very important. When the big goal becomes into small, it will be much easier.

Reflection about doing research paper

Please NOTE: This paper is presented as a model based on the way the author began the inquiry, (i.e. narrowing the reflection by posing a question and focusing on it). There are areas for improvement in the piece (e.g. carrying through with the author’s initially posed question; focusing more critically
on Bodi’s argument and/or her responses to this author’s comments), however, it is offered as a formidable example of how to initially tackle a critically reflective piece by focusing on only one point, argument, (or in this case, sentence).

I found the article written by Sonia Bodi was very informative and interesting. Although many of the ideas she presented I agreed with, there were also a few points that I’d like to argue against. First I would like to answer the question that was proposed in the title of this article: How do we bridge the gap between what we ( professors) teach and what they ( students) do? To fill in that gap, both sides need to work together. Students need to push themselves to expand their knowledge and help themselves become more inquisitive, critical, and reflective. Professors, on the other hand, should push and challenge the students to become better thinkers and help them use what skills they know to their advantage. When students and professors are thinking on the same page, they will start to understand each other’s viewpoint, thus making researching a paper more easier.

I agree that students do have a more difficult time to deal with the pressure of writing a research essay. “Choosing a topic and its focus is perhaps the most difficult task in research.” This statement is very true. I sometimes complain when I have to write an essay focusing on a specific topic that a professor has assigned, but in reality, writing an essay on a topic you can pick yourself is even harder. Sometimes I have so many ideas to write down on paper I become overwhelmed and stressed; even though I am researching a topic that I myself have freely chosen. This is the time where, as stated in the Bodi article, that students “experience uncertainly and confusion.” This quote was made after studying high school students’ behavior while researching topics. I thought about this statement while I read the rest of the article and came to a conclusion about the truth of this quote. Although I understand how to now, I was never taught how to write a proper research paper in high school; and I am sure that many people also feel this way as well. The teachers were very lenient about the way our research essays were presented, so it was never a big deal if I forgot to add a bibliography to the paper. This might be a possible answer to some of Sonia Bodi’s statements about the quality of first year students’ papers: some early year university students might just never have been taught properly.

Another problem that seems to affect students, from my experience, is the method of acquiring the information for the research paper. The Internet use to be where I got most of my information, and while I feel it is a valuable source, I know that libraries are even more beneficial. I can understand why students seem to turn away from Libraries because all that information can be overwhelming and stressful. Therefore, another problem is presented before the actual research process has even begun. I really enjoyed the quote by William Blake: “You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.” It seems to add to the confusion of writing a research paper: How much information should I put in my paper? What are the most important topics and which topics should be left out?
As mentioned above, there were a few points I disagreed with. Quotes such as “students search in a haphazard, unplanned way, happy to find whatever” and “lack of patience” were easy for me to contradict. Although I have never been taught how to write a properly finished research paper, I have been taught how to write an outline. And though I may sometimes get overwhelmed with all the possible information I could write in my paper, I don’t search for that information haphazardly and unplanned. I write an outline to help narrow down the field of topics I wish to write in my paper, but even with that, there are still vast amounts of information that I could research on. And unlike most scholars, who get paid to research and have all the time in the world, I can’t afford to shift through all that information when I have a deadline. I don’t feel it is fair to compare students with scholars, because it makes hard working students seem uneducated. Doing research is a way for scholars to make a living, and for most students, researching a paper is simply a way to make a grade. I feel that I do try my best while researching a paper, but the problem is, I don’t have the time to look through all that information that scholars do have the time to look through. It is very hard to pick a focus that can have such vast topics. And I feel this is the main problem for many students, like myself.

I enjoyed very much reading this article. It allowed me to critically reflect upon the way students carry out their research papers. Sonia Bodi presented many valuable points that will help me focus on any future papers I will research.

Writing Program at New College

We have arrived at a crucial moment in the semester and in everyone’s individual inquiry process. Now that you have identified an issue you have identified as important, worked through several drafts of a research question, and drafted a narrative identifying your personal connection to this issue, the time has come to reflect on the process that has brought even greater focus to your original inquiry. In order to consider and assess your own learning thus far, we ask that you also write an informal but thoughtful reflection on the research question process. This assignment sheet recaps work accomplished thus far, details the short reflection essay assignment, and concludes with a sample Research Question Reflection.

The research question and reflection assignment has two parts:

1. Share your existing research question with members of the class. As a group, use these criteria (now familiar to you) to refine your research questions:

a. The question accurately reflects the issue about which you want to learn.

b. The question is neither too broad nor too narrow considering the time and resources you have for research. Be ambitious, but not too ambitious!

c. Key terms and phrases in the question reflect the language used by other researchers inquiring into the same issue(s). In other words, your question clearly participates in the existing scholarly conversation.

d. The question is effectively edited and free of sentence-level errors.

2. Write a brief (approx. 500 words) reflection on what you have learned in the research-question process. The goal of this writing is to record how your thinking about the issue may have developed or changed, and perhaps, how your thinking about the process of research itself has changed. As long as you communicate these ideas, you may take this short essay in any direction you like. You may write it as a narrative, the story or your research process. If you prefer, write more of a thesis-driven essay in which you make a careful case about what you’ve learned. And of course, you might find some other way of responding. Just make sure your response reflects on and communicates what you understand as the heart of your learning process thus far.

A successful response to this assignment will:

  • Include the initial research question, a final version, and a brief reflective essay
  • Present a final research question that is clear, well focused, and appropriate given our available time and resources this semester;
  • Include a reflective essay that clearly communicates the writer’s learning process, using important details from that process in illustration;
  • Be effectively edited

Sample Response to This Assignment

Formal Research Question Assignment

Original Research Question: What can ASU do to prevent eating disorders?

Revised Research Question: How can ASU raise awareness about eating disorders as well as encourage people who may be suffering from eating disorders to seek help?

Reflection: Given the freedom to write a research on paper on any topic you wish might be a dream come true to other writing students; however, I found the lack of restrictions quite challenging. My mind went in 100 directions when given the assignment. I thought about world peace, vegetarianism, and dorm food. My first “real” topic then became starvation among African youth. After shooting down this topic because of its enormity and because my lack of personal connection, I decided to discuss eating disorders among college students – especially females. I have personal experience with this subject because I once suffered through a terrifying struggle with bulimia. Also, as a Community Assistant in a residential hall at Arizona State University, part of my job is to promote healthy life styles in general, including healthy eating habits. I admit that the process of starting, stopping, and reconfiguring my research question was frustrating, but I also came to realize the importance of that process. I can now speak from experience and with passion – through my personal connection to the research question – as well as read and analyze the research materials with a more critical and careful eye because of that first-hand experience.

The next problem I faced in formulating my research question was the broad scope of my question. I had always thought that bigger was better when it came to doing research. However, I quickly changed my mind about that after doing just a little bit of research. After spending thirty minutes rummaging through Google Scholar, I realized I was having difficulty pinpointing relative and important information. In addition, the hugeness of it all made it hard to find something I wanted to write about. It was at this moment I decided to talk specifically about and to female college students at Arizona State University. Since I am both a CA and a student at ASU, I decided to think about the project in terms of an actual program or presentation I could share with other students on campus.

Another thing I found in my initial research was a National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Excited that I might be able to “do” something “real” with my research, I came up with “What can ASU do to prevent eating disorders?” I really thought this was my final question, but my faculty writing mentor made me see that the question implies a single, identifiable answer exists to the question. This is something even I knew was not possible. To avoid that frustration and to create a positive and proactive spin on the subject, I came up with this: How can ASU raise awareness about eating disorders as well as encourage people who may be suffering from eating disorders to seek help? The answers to my question will not only allow me to learn about ways to prevent eating disorders; my research allows me to think of ways other than writing an essay in order to share that information.