Research Can Be Fun?

Researching for my repurposing proposal is proving to be a challenge. I am passionate about my topic; however, I have never experienced writing without certain restrictions. Meaning when I take on an academic paper I am very certain in where I have to look for research and how to go about it. Since I am writing an advice column, the majority of the information stems from my personal experience traveling abroad. With that being said the research is by no means traditional in looking on the classic Proquest or Google Scholar.
However the extent of my research has begun researching advice columns and how they are set up. I have done a lot of online research and found some reputable examples, however, since my publication will be in Teen Vogue, I have also been browsing through magazines of a similar genre to get a sense of their appearance and length.
Beyond the physical layout of the advice column, I am beginning to research based on the questions I am asked by the prospective abroad students. For example, the topic of packing is a big topic of confusion for students planning going abroad. My research for this topic is mainly derived from sites like pinterest and various travel blogs. Not only will I be able to compare my work and experience to others, but I will be able to connect my readers with other sites where they can do more research on their own based on my advice. Specifically for the packing topic, Here is an example of a link I can connect my readers to for a more in depth packing list from her campus.com. Click on the photo to check it out!

Packing List

I think the most difficult part of this research and project is differentiating my work from all the others out there. There are many people that have shared their abroad experience, but what will be my challenge is setting my advice apart from others. I am excited to continue looking for more research and hearing the questions asked by future study abroaders!

Allison Skaggs

Hello all! My name is Allison Skaggs and I am a junior at Michigan. I am from Orange County, California and decided to come to Michigan for a different kind of college experience! Currently, I am on the women's varsity water polo team and plan on majoring in Sport Management. Some things I enjoy during my time off are reading, swimming, attending sports games, and spending time with friends and family.

2 thoughts to “Research Can Be Fun?”

  1. Allison, it sounds like we are facing similar challenges when it comes to finding good research for the repurposing paper. I, too, feel confident researching topics when the boundaries are defined. However, the project at hand is very open-ended. I began my research by looking for articles in both the New Yorker and The Atlantic that could potentially serve as a formatting guide. I was lucky enough to find an article titled “Why I Want to Die at 75,” which is written both in the same format and about the same topic as the piece I plan on writing. In terms of finding your way through the seemingly limitless sources about travel and studying abroad, it sounds like you are on the right path. My model article has proven very helpful thus far. If you are still struggling, I suggest taking the time to find a model that resonates well with what you hope to create. I look forward to seeing what you find.

  2. Allison — Seems like you’re on the right track! I am also concerned with differentiating my piece from the preexisting works out there. I think one way you can do this is by honing in on the specifics of your trip and answering questions that exist, but maybe aren’t covered as frequently. For example, maybe do a section on packing (a widespread, popular topic) as well as something like ‘What to do on a rainy day in London’ or ‘The types of classes you SHOULDN’T take abroad’. Don’t be afraid of deviate from the norm! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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