This month we are pleased to announce our first student guest blog post. Emma Garland is a History MA student who has attended some of our writing courses. Emma’s post is about writing a research blog and how it has helped her get some useful feedback and keep her research on track.
Writing a Research Blog
Writing a research blog is a way of clarifying your ideas. As you write, you begin to know your own arguments more. Therefore, any expression of what you are researching will be beneficial to your work. Additionally, blogging places your work in a public arena. Whilst this may seem daunting, it is useful. Most people will never receive negative comments, only perhaps some constructive criticism. The vast majority of the online community (whether it is people you know, or those you do not), will only want to support you and your work being online allows more people to engage with you. Suggestions could be taking a slightly different angle or approach to your topic, or people could recommend sources that would help you.
A blog can also help on a practical level. Sometimes, even though you may feel that you have not made enough progress, you will have done a significant amount of work and a blog post can remind you of this. It is important to remember that how much work you have done and how much progress you have made are not necessarily the same thing. Sometimes writing flows easily or you find that one source you were looking for, but sometimes every last word is painful to write and the source you found is not as great as you hoped. Do not feel despondent. You will find the confidence to keep going if you are sure that you are doing the right thing. Glancing at your blog posts should remind you why you are studying and should remind you of how far you have come. Most of the time things go well when you are researching and it is just a case of plodding on, but when times are tough a blog should help you.
Finally, writing a research blog should be enjoyable. Being able to talk about your topic in a brief way will help when friends or family ask what you are studying. Also, it is handy to have somewhere to signpost people to if they want to find out more about your work. Good luck!
Inspired? Check out Emma’s personal blog too at https://fluteandnut.wordpress.com/