1. Explain the early
stages of your research process-finding a topic, crafting a question,
and locating information.
Beginning the search over the summer was difficult because I had
several topics that I wanted to explore and most of them dealing with
things I have done in the past. In the process I asked several
different people that are somewhat close to me what it is I am most
passionate about in life. I had realized in that outcome of asking
questions that I had already answered my question. I knew from the get
go that I wanted to do something in relation to cars, but was not sure
of how to approach a thorough essential question. Locating the
information was a piece of cake because of my accumulation of knowledge
over the years on the study of cars. My biggest concern was narrowing
my topic into something feasible that covered the big picture of market
share, but not every aspect. Finding specific information was difficult
because I had altered my essential question several times to give it an
interesting bias and a two sided controversial issue for the reader.
Most of my research came from the Multnomah County Library but I did
explore other libraries and universities along the way.
2. What resources, class activities, and people were most helpful in
researching your topic? Why?
Word of mouth seemed to be the most helpful if I had a question I would
just ask somebody where I could locate the information. Finding a bunch
of varied sources is beneficial because then you see the broad spectrum
of what needs to be covered in your paper. Encyclopedias, books,
periodicals, newspapers, Internet, inside and outside experts all
helped engage my exploration for research. All of these resources
helped me because I was able to relate a whole bunch of different ideas
into several different categories to cover the essential question. Most
of the experts I had conversations were knowledgeable of the topic, but
only gave me a general overview of how I could approach the topic. What
is difficult about having experts is putting in several more hours of
research in that they don't know you have done and then there is an
overlapping of feedback.
3. What did you learn about doing research and the process of doing
research? What were your frustrations? How did you overcome them?
Spending a whole a year on topic was a bit overwhelming and stressful
at times because in the beginning you couldn't predict whether you were
going to become bored or uninterested in the topic. Time management is
really crucial in motivating yourself to accomplish a goal. Research
takes diligence, persistence, long hours, repetition of material to
understand new concepts and material. Research is definitely a
balancing act that takes years of experience and practice. My motto is
the early you get it the easier it will come. Knowing the expectations
clearly and looking at the task at hand in a systematic order help me
overcome some of the obstacles in writing the paper and finding
appropriate research. The paper is definitely a tedious process that
takes time, effort and patience.
4. What did you learn about yourself as a researcher? What are your
strengths and weaknesses?
How to control my anxiety and stress levels in times where
psychological issues took a beating on me as well as social problems.
Learning how to put little ideas of research in the big picture is
difficult because I am a big picture person. When I see the big picture
I can go back and connect the dots. I am not always confident to ask
clarifying questions when I should. If I have a confident foundation of
knowledge then it becomes easier for me to get my ideas out on paper.
My philosophy is when writing a paper (KISS) keeping it simple stupid.
If you use words and phrases that aren't common knowledge to people
then you have failed to write a balanced paper. Making transitions
clear in a research paper is definitely a struggle in how to tie one
idea in to the next idea and have it all makes sense to the reader.
Maintaining how to write a balanced paper is hard to predict and you
don't always have a viable solution.
5. When doing ongoing research, again, what would you do differently?
The frustrating thing about ongoing research is the editing and
feedback process. Many professional writers or any writers for that
matter have several flaws in which they don't like, but without
mistakes and revisions we wouldn't grow stronger and more confident in
our writing if we cared so much about every little detail. To be
confident is to succeed and with that comes anger, frustration, and
self-pity. When you edit a paper several different times you have
several different interpretations of the grammar, words choices,
sentence structure, voice etc. A paper can be edited several different
times by different evaluators, but in the end it's your decision of how
you want the research paper to look. I personally feel my paper is
stronger than most of senior research papers written, but I feel if I
were to make any minor changes it would to add clearer examples of what
I am trying to express.
6. Explain how you went about getting an outside expert. What were the
highlights and frustrations? How was your expert helpful?
My outside expert has been a really close friend with my parents for
many years and we used to purchase cars from his dealership in
Beaverton. He is the owner of Beaverton Honda, Infiniti, Chrysler,
Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Kia. Honda motor sales have made him a very
successful businessman. I wanted to use him as my outside because of
his years of experience dealing with the market. Contact hours were
really a struggle because he was gone a majority of the time and
thinking about retirement so he was vacationing a lot. I sent a copy of
my paper over to him in Palm Springs so he could make any revisions
necessary to make a clearer and stronger paper. He followed the grading
rubric as required and gave additional feedback as to what he knew
about the market. His revisions I felt were somewhat redundant and
picky and I felt that what I wrote was better, but I went ahead and
made the revisions anyway since he's the expert. Definitely a life
skill accomplishment that will be useful in communicating with more
knowledgeable people in the future.
7. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1=low, 10=high), how would you rate the
quality of your effort on the research portion-not the writing-of your
project? How would you rate the quality of your research?
On a scale of 1 to 10 I would probably give myself an 8 for the quality
and effort on the research portion because even though my bibliography
doesn't show a lot of varied sources I still read a lot of varied
material that gave me a lot of different ideas of how the order of my
paper was going to look. I spent a lot of time annotating,
highlighting, revising, and reading material not only to understand it
early on in the process, but to be confident enough to paraphrase and
say it in my own words.
8. Explain the steps you went through in completing the paper, from
earliest rough draft to final draft?
Keeping a record of the calendar, rough drafts, due dates is all a form
of compartmentalization that helps keep you on track and motivated
throughout the tedious and redundant procedure of righting a research