Friday Reads: The essential guide to doing your research project

Ever feel like your feet are stuck in concrete? No matter how much you push your body forward, swing your arms or hips, those feet just can’t move. I know I need to work on my research, I want to work on my research but I just can’t move my ‘feet’. I schedule time for research and sit down to work but I just sit there.

Seriously?? What is wrong with me? – Is all I can think.   Just do it!! – I say to myself.

I decided to do some soul-searching. It is time to dig deep and rekindle my passion for research.

So I am committing to reading a minimum of one research/writing related book every month for the next year. I will write-up a post for #FridayReads at the end of each month. If I get really into it I might even write-up a book a week or every fortnight – stay tuned.

I am starting with The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project by Zina O’Leary. Why this book to start? Honestly… because it was handy. I had it on my shelf unopened. I wanted to get started straight away on my reading and I am glad that I did. While the book is written towards research students, I gained great value from it as an early career researcher on the quest for an answer to my current lack of passion for research. I have a few books lined up for the next month or two, but if you have a suggestion please drop a comment so I can add it to my reading list.

The essential guide to doing your research project – Zina O’Leary

The book starts with a great quote

“If we knew what it was we were doing it would not be called research, would it? – Albert Einstein

Impostor syndrome is certainly a huge part of my internal thoughts. This quote sets up the tone of the first chapter and the first page has other resonating words of wisdom from the author, such as “it’s actually quite exciting” and “you do it [research] one step at a time”, before moving on to asking and answering the deep question that started this book reading endeavour…. why do research? To answer this question O’Learly delves into the need for and potential of research knowledge.

I love the quotes throughout this book such as on page 28

“Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness” – Thomas Henry Huxley

and O’Leary’s own words are pearls of wisdom one needs to (repeatedly) hear such as this beauty on page 28

“But rest assured, feelings of frustration, confusion and even incompetence are both commonplace and surmountable”

In addition to all the feel good quotes, this book packs a punch! The book provides a broad range of content from developing your research question to write-up. I would certainly recommend it for early researchers who need a refresher or those just starting out on their journey to become a researcher.

Have you read The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project by Zina O’Leary? What wisdom to you gain from its pages?



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