My journey of 12,000 words began with developing a topic for my Honours project. I’ll be researching something in the area of autism. I’m just trying to figure out what that specific ‘something’ will be. The scope of my Honours project makes this process a whole new experience.
So how do you devise an idea for a study? That’s an answer I’m still working on but there probably isn’t a single ‘right’ way. My current approach has been to read articles about a couple of aspects of autism, paying particular attention to the authors’ suggestions for future research. I’ve resorted to reading and noting in short bursts because I haven’t built up any journal reading stamina yet, but it does seem to be working. I plan to read a few more articles and then brainstorm some specific topic ideas, ready for my first meeting with my supervisor.
My Honours year classes officially started yesterday. It was a gentle start to the year. We revised statistics, the importance of evidence based practice and remaining cautious when evaluating research. I also went to the first weekly seminar for research students offered by my university. I am so glad that I went. The seminar highlighted that other students do feel a bit ‘at sea’ in their research journey too, which is very reassuring.
The brown object is an oar, not a bottle and the white thing is supposed to be a sail. You may have guessed but I am not very artistic…
The session also gave me some useful insights. I think the key thing to remember at the moment is that laying a solid foundation for my research is really important. Now I understand why the first few months of brainstorming, researching and designing a project are said to be the most intense! I’ll definitely be going back for the next session.
So to any student undertaking research or studying at uni…
get thee to your uni’s learning programs!