I have also fine-tuned and refined my research skills. The most surprising aspect of research that I learned through this process was that research was not a mechanical act of gauging, putting into categories, and calculating results, but was an organic search into life’ s questions. I was amazed by the intellectual freedom that one can have while doing research. My initial perceptions of research viewed it as purely empirical and statistical exercise. The broad avenues offered by qualitative research and also the infinite possibilities of triangulation using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies were new information to me.
I understood that one can be immensely creative while doing research and one can freely follow the paths developed by oneself as far as they are logically sound. As I continue taking courses in research methods and work towards my dissertation, I see many opportunities for the improvement of my skills. I have set myself a goal of developing my skills towards theoretical research, though it is too high an aim to set, given my present abilities. As I go on acquiring more knowledge on research methodologies, I am having an increased interest in new technologies that can assist research tabulations and presently I am trying to familiarize with them.
I am also thinking about using unconventional technologies in research. For example, I have been thinking of the possible uses of social networking sites to generate innovative kinds of data. Whenever I encountered a certain problem in research, I improvised my design and also had a revisit of my research questions, data collection, and methods used. This helped me to be sure that I was not making errors on any stage.
I also kept an open mind to new information and remained careful of not becoming restricted by my preconceptions. I designed my experimental set-up not by following completely any established design but bringing in fresh ideas and innovation. I also was careful about the personal biases that could be there in my approaches and inferences.
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