How to Research

Loraine Blaxter
July 06, 2016
★★★★ (+4.99%) 🛈

This is a hard book to find. It’s out of print, I gather, so I could never find the Fourth Edition, but I did manage to somehow track down a PDF of the Third Edition, which had to suffice.

It’s a solid, broad overview of the scholarly research process, from picking a topic, through doing the read, designing the research, collecting data, analyzing it, writing the actual project, and all the things on the tail end that might happen, like a peer review, presentation, etc. None of this is treated particularly in-depth, but everything is covered nicely. It’s the view from 50,000 feet, if you will.

I don’t know that I learned much new from this. Rather, it brought everything I suspect in one place and full circle, and gives you a perspective on a research project, from start to finish. This is for people who simply have no idea where to start or what the process looks like.

I did like the emphasis on picking a topic, and multiple asides on the emotional and mental side of it. A large project is a long, wrenching process for some, a problems like thinking you’re not accomplishing anything, or that other people have already said everything about your research are likely real problems for some people.

Put another way, this book doesn’t assume you have your crap together. It assumes you’re human, fallible, and will probably suck mightily at a lot of things. I give it kudos for that.

This is item #376 in a sequence of 515 items.

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