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At the End…


Sunday, December 2, 2012 by

At the end of the semester, and after going through the process of finding a research topic, choosing a method and trying to make sense of it all – Luker, in her chapter 10, mentioned some things that made me reflect on the entire process.  For instance, she mentions that the process of reduction and analysis is an ongoing one and that every day we need to take into account pattern recognition.  Looking over our data, we should constantly be looking for patterns, and that often we will be wrong and that ‘lots of stuff that looks colorful and interesting will just turn out to be noise’ (p. 199).  I can certainly relate to this statement.  Since September I have been thinking I have been seeing patterns…..which have turned out to be nothing!  The whole process of pattern recognition is exciting at first – when you think you know what you are doing – but then becomes a daunting and dreary task after failing at it a number of times.

Another issue which Luker discusses in chapter 10 which really resonated with me was how others will try to hijack or poke holes in your area of research (p. 200 and 203).  This can be very discouraging especially alongside the challenging process of pattern recognition.  But Luker is supportive, offering the advice of practicing the ‘ignore 50 percent’ rule – where you ignore half of what anyone tells you about your topic (p. 200).  This definitely makes me feel a little bit better!

I want to end by just briefly stating how much I have enjoyed this course!  I mentioned in my very first post how I have already taken a research methods course and that it was a frustrating experience.  Despite my above rant, I really feel I have learned a lot about conducting proper research and found the lectures and readings to be very informative : )

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