R is for research

Posted as part of the a-z challenge.

Research: dull or interesting? I get involved in research for various things, from researching information for my novel to checking things for my work. Recent searches have included religious extremism (novel), dwarf and elf names (novel), the difference between any more and anymore (work) and the use of viewpoints within fiction (work and my own novel).

I’m engaged in a project to research our local workhouse, which is fascinating. The only drawback is the expense; while the research itself is free, it also involves over an hour of travel by car, car parking for the day and organising some sort of lunch, as well as necessitating a day away from paid work.

When I did my teacher training, we did an exercise on research. We were asked a bunch of questions, and had to give the answer plus how certain we were of the answer. We then had time to research online, and then had to again give an answer plus how certain we were. The result was generally that after an hour of research the answers might not have changed, but the certainty of that answer had dropped! Our tutor alleged he’d deliberately changed an answer on wikipedia to throw us off as well…

There’s a great deal of satisfaction in looking things up and finding the right answer. And sometimes it’s essential. Other times, it’s just a time-waster, a way to avoid doing what we really should be doing.

And on that note, I must go and do what I should be doing right now, which ironically includes research…

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