Sunday, July 07, 2013

Searchin' for Research

As I’ve mentioned so many times before, I write this blog because I like to write. I don’t necessarily think I’m that particularly brilliant at it, but it’s a very cathartic act for me. The thing is, as you may have noticed by the gaps in the dates of my more recent postings, I’ve been having a bit of trouble coming up with topics, or at least trying not to rehash topics that I feel like I’ve written about entirely too much or too often.

As strange as it may sound, one of the things I actually enjoyed most about my college courses was doing research and writing papers. It has been some thirteen or so years since I left college. I kind of want to do a research paper and post it on my blog; perhaps even in parts, like a serial blog.

Ideally, I’d love to write a novella or short story, but I seem to lack the ability to write fiction without blatantly “borrowing (read, stealing) ideas from books and stories I’ve read (or from the backstory “fluff” found in role playing game rulebooks).

Here’s the thing; I’m much better at writing non-fiction than fiction, but so many things interest me that picking a topic is difficult. Should I write about history, technology, religion? I can’t decide!

I’m not looking to come up with a Master’s thesis or Doctoral dissertation here. I just want a topic that I’m interested in that I would like to learn more about and then parlay that into a research paper.

Step one, of course will be to start making more time to actually read and dedicate that time to reading articles and books other than novels. It probably wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and get a library card at my local library (because, you know, books are expensive and borrowing them versus buying them doesn’t kill my budget - as much as I’d much rather add even more to my personal library).

The second thing would be to remember how to write a research paper (odds are I’d format it in Turabian style as that’s what I primarily used in college). As I said earlier, it’s been at least thirteen years since I have had to do a research paper, and to be honest, most of the ones I wrote in college were of the 2-5 page variety and not the lengthy 10 or so pages I’m thinking of attempting for this project.

So, for those of you who have read my past blogs, any thoughts or ideas on something you might be interested in reading about that I could expound upon from just simple Sunday morning blog post? And for that matter, does it need to be a full blown research paper, or should it be more like an essay?

~ JC
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