ACADEMICS WITH WUNMI: RESEARCH MYTHS
A word of encouragement before I get to discuss today’s post. A unit is made of several small components that’s put together to achieve one goal. This is the illustration of all believers in the body of Christ. We are part of God’s unit with different functional areas. Let’s play out our functions as divinely given by God. More often we channel our energy towards envying (comparison) other people’s functions. Let’s stay content with our portion and run with it.
While we considered the common mistakes made in research in the last post, it is expedient we also consider those things are not mistakes but believed to be true which in the long run impair the quality and excellence of our work.
Different people have different meaning to ‘myth’ but for the purpose of this post, we hold that a myth is ‘ a widely held but false belief or idea’.
I have heard and believed some myths in the past but over time I have seen the light (truth). These truths are what I aim to share with you today. However, Research myths are not limited to these myths shared below.
MYTH 1: It’s easier to use questionnaire rather than secondary data, vice-versa.
TRUTH: the truth is, the easiest method of data gathering (analysis) is the most appropriate method that soothes your topic. ‘The grass is only green where you water it’. When you use a method because you think it’s easier, you get easily frustrated when it doesn’t go as easy as envisaged. On the other hand, using the appropriate method keeps you going when it seems rough because you’re convinced you’re doing it right.
MYTH 2: Nothing new can be done, thus one has to ‘stylishly’ repeat past research works.
TRUTH: Problems evolve on a daily basis thus makes room for new research ideas to be developed to provide solutions. This could further contradict findings of past researchers which in the long run opens path for new findings thus doing something NEW. All you need to be is be critically and analytically alert in your mind.
MYTH 3: Research is only for those who want to be lecturers
TRUTH: This is quite common but the truth is, research is a platform used to solve problems, answer questions, and identify unknown causative agents amongst others. You would agree with me that not only lecturers (academicians) need solutions. Quick illustration, a friend of mine is considering starting up a business but first wants to carry out a research on the finance avenues available to such business as well as the sustainability. A Successful entrepreneur must engage in research to develop a business proposal that’s irresistible and sustainable. Therefore, research isn’t limited to Academicians only.
MYTH 4: Research is difficult, hence you can’t write an excellent research work
TRUTH: Great writers can be born but great writing skills can also be developed. Anyone born with a talent without development loses the talent without knowing. In the same vein, anyone who consciously develops a skill becomes better over time. Development is what makes the difference. A major way for continuous development is continuous learning.
MYTH 5: It takes forever to complete a good research
TRUTH: This is not totally true. Sometimes ample time is required to complete a research work but that doesn’t imply the work would be excellent. A lot of articles contend to be published in a good journal however not all gets published, the best of the bests are selected, and this is to mean there’s more that makes an excellent research than just length of time. For instance, knowing the appropriate variables and data to use, save times and this directly enhance the quality of work.
MYTH 6: Result must favour your topic
TRUTH: This is one myth that misleads a lot of students today (been a victim before). The plain truth is, research is not research when your answer is predetermined. You research because you don’t know. Let your data be fairly represented without bias. It’s not out of place to have expectation on what the result could possibly be, however, where actual result differs from expectation does not imply poor work done. Though it could imply poor work done where data used is inappropriate but where data used is appropriate, then it is what it is! Having actual result differ from expectations could open avenue for further study using different set of variables- which is doing something ‘new’.
“then you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH will set you free” John 8:32
Please share your myths about research with me in the comment box below.
Till I come your way again,
The Education segment of the blog is one where you can find resources as a student/prospective one to help you succeed academically. Periodic posts would be published ranging from advice to questions and resources, all of which readily available to help you. I wish you all the best in your academic endeavours- Tosin Alabi( editor)