Research Research Research

In high school I hated research papers. My experiences had been pretty narrow, and research assignments had been pretty limited to dry History papers about historical figures. The task of the actual research felt daunting because I was typically uninterested in the topic. However, my feelings about research completely changed when I came to college and completed a research assignment for English 125. Rather than simply compiling biographical information into a ten page paper, we were instructed to construct an argument about any topic we were interested in and use our research on the subject to back up our argument. I had never completed such an assignment before and was genuinely excited to learn more about my topic. By the end of the assignment, I was an expert on all matters concerning the injustices of solitary confinement and maximum security prisons. Additionally, through my research I had formed a staunch opinion on the matter that I could back up with empirical evidence.

The research for my repurposing project is definitely not your classic Jstor or ProQuest type of academic research, like the type I mentioned above. But I think it will be just as rewarding. Mostly I’ve been digging into some new articles to get a sense of the political climate right now surrounding the fight around whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood. While I have been following this news story for a while, I was able to research some more of nitty gritty about the story, such as what a stopgap bill is, or some of the intricacies of John Boehner’s resignation. So far, I have not begun to collect interviews but am asking around for potential subjects. I’ve also been looking around at some blogs featuring personal stories in order to figure out a few ways I can tell the stories I am trying to tell. One way I can do this is by essentially transcribing the interview word for word. However, I think it could be compelling if I were to write the story as if it were 3rd person creative fiction, though the stories will be true. If the stories read like fiction, I think they could be really captivating.

Lauren Diamond

Lauren Diamond is a Junior at the University of Michigan and a Political Science Major.

2 thoughts to “Research Research Research”

  1. Lauren,
    Yeah, I didn’t like writing research papers in high school either. Especially when you have to write multiple pieces and they are all due on the same day…fun times. Regardless, I am glad that your view on writing research papers has changed when you started writing at a college level; hopefully, this project will only further augment said feelings towards research. In terms of the research that you have done for this project, I agree with you on how it can be rewarding to look at different types of writing. It sounds like you are indeed analyzing various pieces to compose your research, and I am interested to see how the interviews will aid you in creating your project. I also like the idea of how you plan to write the interviews in third person fiction; not only would it protect the identity of the person being interviewed, but it would also make the reading far more compelling.

  2. Lauren,
    I definitely agree that your research for this project, although not traditional like you’re used to, will be just as rewarding. As you’ve grown as a student and a writer, it seems you’ve been exposed to different “kinds” of research that you weren’t used to doing in previous years. As you transitioned from high school research on historical figures to looking further into topics that actually interested you in academic databases, you’ve transitioned in the “kinds” of research you were used to pre-college. It seems like now, as you look into different policies and current perspectives on the issues surrounding your topic, as well as potential interviewees, you are still conducting research, you’re just transitioning in the form, much like you did coming from high school to college.

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