Interesting Research Points!

One of the key points in “Using Sources” that stuck out to me was the emphasis on writers and researchers not being objective in their understanding of material. This aspect of human nature is something I had commented on in my “Why I Write” first draft. I explain that everything I write reflects who I am in some way. For example, I say that “the mere process of selecting certain evidence to prove a point reveals what I view as significant”. This is exactly what the reading warns us against! It therefore struck a cord with me when the reading states, “we have to guard against those biases both in your own work and in your sources.”

I also liked how the reading emphasized how you don’t have to agree with the conclusions in a source to use its data. In fact, the argument doesn’t have to even be relevant to your own research question. I feel that often in my own research process I get too caught up in trying to find the “perfect” research article. There are many unconventional ways to use research. One way I had never previously considered is borrowing the logic of a resource as opposed to just its content.

Lastly, I completely agree with the passage in the reading that explains, “if you cannot summarize a passage in your mind, assume you don’t understand it well enough to use in an argument.” I definitely use this strategy when trying to thoroughly understand a piece of writing. Frequently when I am struggling synthesizing a point of research, it is because I don’t understand it well enough.

2 thoughts to “Interesting Research Points!”

  1. Alexis,

    Being objective is one of the most difficult tasks for a writer. You made three key points, and the one that struck me the most was how everything you write reflects who you are in some way. One of the points we discussed last week in class was how to remain objective while stating both sides of an argument. I believe if you provide enough support for both sides of an argument, and state your viewpoint, you will still be able to remain objective, despite the fact you are imparting your own opinion. As long as you provide proper sources and evidence, you’re opinion will remain credible.

  2. It seems as though you learned a lot of useful information from reading that piece. You did a good job relating your own writing processes to the points that the author made. In your opening paragraph, you illustrated the selection bias, and how you often fall victim to it.
    Also, I can definitely relate to “getting caught up trying to find the ‘perfect’ research article.” We often try too hard to find something that matches our own thesis directly, even though great information is never geared toward making a specific argument. The more diverse our data and research is, the better the final argument will be.

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