An Agriculture Metaphor For Academic Research |

Graduate level research is a complex and often daunting undertaking. There is so much information to find, absorb, analyze, understand and then report on that it can be overwhelming if you do not have a good organizational plan.One way to handle the complexity is to adopt an agricultural metaphor for organizing your material, workspace and production. By treating your research efforts as a working farm, you will always be able to position yourself inside your work in an appropriate place. You will be able to figure out what else needs to be done and where to store your intermediate materials en route to your final written work.Try these different categories on for size:
the barn is your place for storing all of your common use materials which support you as you develop research material and ideas in any number of different categories. This could be a master annotated bibliography or an online set of references were a standard notetaking sheet that enables you to rapidly assemble notes from a variety of sources.
The fields represent where you conduct your wholesale level deep research in areas of specialty that satisfy a particular constituency or consumer. In the same way that a farmer grows different crops for different customers, your fields represent the individual areas of unique theory and practice that inform your work.
The pastors represent fields that have not yet been cultivated but which all while you and your curiosity to graze in areas that may be of use to you in the future or in future projects.
The farmhouse is the place that you get to relax in comfort and safety regardless of the weather. The smells surround you with warmth and vitality in a lie you to rest comfortably in between periods of labor. Do not neglect the importance of a serene place to recharge your batteries
the roadside stand, outside of your farm, is where you provide free samples of your work to interested passersby. They may be tempted to come in and share their produce and insights with you. You must have a plan to put your prototypes and executive summaries out on the street early and often in order to network among interested individuals.
The forest beyond your boundaries represents the deep while knowledge of the universe in all its chaos and mysterious beauty. It summons you for potential future research and reminds us of the excitement of the quest for knowledge.Adopting an agricultural metaphor to guide your research might help you keep your volumes of data an information and insights organized and ready for prime time.