Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Research Virtuoso by Toronto Public Library

Ok, I admit it. I'm terrible at research. When I was in IB, I spent so much time researching, only to end up chasing dead ends. The one example that sticks clearly in my mind is about my Business and Management (BM) research paper. I spend more than an afternoon merely looking for Malaysia's crime statistics. In the end, all I found were the statistics for one year, more than 5 years ago. Hopes of interpolating and finding a trend was dashed, and I ended up relying a lot on interviews.

Which is why, I wished I had read this book a lot earlier.

The Research Virtuoso is basically a short but fairly comprehensive guidebook on how to do primary and secondary/desk research. It's written in a way that targets (if I'm right), university students, which really, makes me the target demographic (give or take a few months). And all I can say is, it works.

The book is broken down into four sections:
1. Getting Ready: Preparing yourself for Research
2. Digging in: Locating information (and includes very helpful information on how to use the Internet, library, archives and interviews to gain information)
3. Taking Stock: Evaluating and Processing Information
4. Getting it out there: Communicating your research (the writing part).

Needless to say, I took copious amounts of notes while reading the book. I hope the print copy comes to Singapore before I leave, because I definitely want to buy a copy for reference. One of the most useful parts of it is the "Grab & Go" section, which contains summaries and templates (and seriously, until the book mentioned it, I never thought of using Venn Diagrams as a template for Compare and Contrast Essays). Although much of the location specific examples are Canadian, I think this book will be very useful for any student that needs to write a Research Paper (like an EE).

Disclaimer: I got this book free from NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions written here are my own.

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