Did you know that in a recent study of how college students use information in the digital age, 84% of surveyed students responded that getting started is one of the most difficult steps in the research process (Head & Eisenberg, 2010, p. 3)?
If you are among the 84%, don't be worried. Even experienced researchers struggle with this part. To overcome the inertia you feel at the beginning of your project, it helps to keep a few things in mind:
- Research takes longer than you'd think! It is therefore important to start early and manage your time wisely.
- At this stage of your academic career, don't worry about becoming the world's leading expert in your subject. Your primary concerns are (a) creating a piece of work that is of a high level of scholarship and (b) practicing and refining your own research process.
You might be wondering, what does a high level of scholarship look like? Here are a few key qualities that your research should demonstrate:
- Newness in style, character, substance, and form
- Freedom from imitation
- Produced through your own faculties of thought
With these points in mind, it's time to get started!