Research Isn't a Bad Word
December 7, 2011
At this point in the semester, many students are busier than normal. Turning in papers, projects, and studying for finals can be a large load. My load this semester has been a wild and crazy journey. They call this journey a capstone research project.
As an Organizational Communication major, I have taken three research classes. Starting with Research in Communication, I learned the basics of communication research including the different types of research, research methods, and sampling techniques. Research Pre-Seminar is a transition class where I took what I learned about research, chose a research topic, and then began searching what past research has been done in that area. The final project for that class is a literature review paper that will then be a part of the final research paper.
Now, I am at the final step of the process: Senior Research Project. My specific project is entitled, "Self Report of Students' 'Walk with the Lord': Spiritual development and growth before and while attending a Christ-Centered university." The goal of the project is to determine how students talk about their walk with the Lord and how that has changed in the time before they came to Cedarville to present day.
The process of research has, at times, been grueling and tedious, but ultimately has been rewarding. I got to interview twenty-one students and simply talk about their walk with the Lord. Through the interviews, I got great data to include in my research report. However, I learned something much more. Something about hearing how God has been and is currently involved in the lives of my friends and classmates is encouraging. Many times, I have even been challenged by what other students are learning, and that lit a spark in me to become more like Christ in specific areas of my life.
Ultimately, I have grown more appreciative of my time at Cedarville through this project. When I first thought of research, I thought of long hours in the library, countless pages of reading, and long statistical reports to mull over. While some of those aspects have been a part of the research process, I have gained a deeper understanding of how God works and just what work He is doing on our campus.
With the research paper finally written, and the presentation of that paper later this week, I will be glad to call the project finished. However, I will walk away with not only a good understanding for research, but a deeper commitment to my own walk with the Lord.