The first step in beginning a research project, of course, is to decide on a topic. Once the topic is settled on, finding source material and actually doing the research can begin. I would have thought that the internet would make doing research easier than it was fifteen years ago when I was in college. To a certain degree, that is true. The problem is, since I have decided to write a paper titled “Role Playing Games: Their History and Influence on Society”, the vast majority of what I’ve found in the way of information has been on the internet. Considering my topic and that I’m only writing the paper for my own enjoyment, that is probably fine, but there is always that concern about sources such as Wikipedia not being seen as trustworthy and accurate. Unlike the woman in the insurance commercial on television, I know better than to believe that, “They can’t put anything that’s not true on the internet.”
Internet research aside, I have also obtained, for the first time in years, a public library card. Of course, as I’ve mentioned, finding materials for which a library card is actually useful or needed has been difficult. Still, it is kind of cool to have a library card again and with today’s technology I can search the entire library system catalog from the comfort of my couch and request anything I need to be placed on hold and pick it up at the branch closest to my house.
So far I’m enjoying doing the research and tracking down sources. It has been so long since I’ve done something like this, though, that I am a little concerned about achieving my goal of having the whole thing written and posted by the end of the quarter.
“Searchin’ For Research” (July 7, 2013)