I think it’s fair to say that my intentions to blog regularly through the research process didn’t really pan out. It’s been a busy year, work-wise. However, I entered the second year of my course and the reading is really ratcheting up so I thought it might be time, as my focus moves away from catching up and more to moving forward, to reconnect with the blog.
So my goal, although as is the wont with blogs, that might change, is to think ‘aloud’ about my engagement with research – both reading and learning about research but also starting to undertake my research independently.
As I am undertaking a professional doctorate in social work, my research and study is very much focussed on the social work profession and practice within it. I was fortunate earlier this year to join a workshop held in Birmingham, organised by Dr Lisa Morriss facilitated by Dr Helen Kara.
I wrote about my experiences and reflections on the event here. This helped me form some ideas in my head about networks and how important they are and might be as I head off down the path of research. I have some informal links now, mostly through Twitter, with people I have come across who are on similar or related paths. I have explored forums for postgraduate students and some blogs around research and postgraduate study including Thesis Whisperer, Research Whisperer, PhD talk , Doctoral Writing SIG and blogs from Helen Kara, James Hayton and Raul Pacheco-Vega as well as many others.
Then there were some resources I’ve ‘stored’ to go back to like Sage Research Methods which I can access through the university library. I’ve been interested in learning about methods and methodologies but also trying to increase my understanding of the subject area I am working in, while also trying to remember what I’ve learned.
So my aim with these posts is not to discuss my actual research, but more the process of learning to research. I am very much a beginner. I have never undertaken primary research and never studied research methodology. I managed to get a Masters but it was an extended literature review when all’s said and done.
Now, I have a desire to know more but keep learning more about what I don’t know and that’s a pretty scary place, but somehow, writing about it helps!