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Thomas Peterson Professor Angela Rounsaville ENC 1102H 30 November 2013 Revised Research Process Paper The world is dynamic, every-changing and anything but constant. Through my time in this Composition II course, I have come to the conclusion that the definition of research follows this same principle. At the beginning of the semester I had ideas of what research was like; however, those views quickly changed once I was versed in literature that spoke about what really went into performing academic research. However, things changed once again when I was the one doing the research and learning first-hand how all of these elements that various writers spoke of in their papers melded together into a full blown project that would consume a semester. While many things changed about how I viewed research, there were several things that did stay the same. Even though some of these things were the same, I did gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for them when I went through the research process for myself. I would have to agree with what I wrote at the beginning of the semester in that research’s primary goal is to expand on the world’s knowledge. If I did all of this work and did not say something new and/or innovative, what would have been the point of all of the time and effort spent? Not necessarily in that I needed to make some groundbreaking discovery or anything that researchers all strive for, but just a general contribution will suffice for the purposes of our research as well as those in the research field today.

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Another area that has not changed all that much through the duration of this semester is the belief that new research is contributing to dialogue yes, but also to a conversation rather than a debate. When making a claim, a researcher’s goal is not to discredit another’s work because that does not display a proper level of decorum. Even though one should not be criticizing work of another, there is room for improvement of previous work. This could be seen as an expansion of prior research with the advent of new technology or means of conducting research and/or collecting data. The expansion could test the limitations of a claim made before or even testing a new idea that has yet to be tried. At the end of the day, we all, as humans, want to learn more about life and have an innate yearning for new knowledge. To gain said knowledge, research is necessary and should be done in a manner to expand knowledge while making sure not to discredit work of others and make especially sure to give credit where credit is due to those who helped you arrive at your individual research conclusion. While I do think that one should not discredit the work of another, the idea of a “conversation” is not something I wholeheartedly stand by that as I do not think it is apropos. Conversation deals with the back and forth interchange of ideas and thoughts. With the research we are doing and the research all professionals do does not really follow that concept in a manner that is actually productive. Sure, you have your say in your project and then another “replies” with his/her research, but that does not allow the original researcher to have their opinion on the matter. Even though I do not consider academic research a debate, in the way it is structured I would argue that it is more like a debate than a conversation. If you think about it, one makes his/her opening statement that is then open to the opposition for a rebuttal and whatnot whereas conversations tend to be more instantaneous and less intense.

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Because academia is professional, the connotation of a “conversation” does not fit either like that of the more composed “debate.” If debate did not have the connection of blatant argument, I would suggest that this take place of the “conversation” that seems to domi nate the world of research. Another area in which I did not fully agree dealt with the videos we watched at the very beginning of the semester. Those depicted in these videos spoke of how researcher consumed their respective lives and how they “lived and breathed” research. While this is a nice sentiment, I would have to respectfully disagree with this hokey and seemingly heartfelt attitude. I still view research as a job (a job I am very much interested in as my profession, but in the area of biomedical sciences) and like most jobs, you can be fully immersed when you are there, but it is something that can be left alone when the clock strikes five and work day ends. Another area of contention I have with what those portrayed in the videos was how they talked about creativity and imagination that is involved with research. I will give them credit in that the inception and idea itself to start said research does involve a great deal of creative thinking, I think that is where it stops. The research process is just that, a process. I would have to say that there is more rigidity to research than the speakers stated and that there are certain things that need to be included and certain things that should be left behind. For example, there are specific data collection methods that are utilized by certain discourse communities and to use another method outside what is widely accepted will most likely invalidate the subsequent findings gained from that method.

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All in all, research is something that I have learned a great deal about throughout this entire semester. Like I said in my original paper, I feel as though I have a somewhat concrete understanding of what research means, but I would be naïve in thinking that I know all there is to know about how to properly conduct research. I am confident that in another area of study, my ideals would change once again and I think that that is something so interesting how researchers all strive to do the same thing, but take so many different avenues and have different ideas on how to achieve the superordinate goal of research.