On Becoming a Researcher: The Value of Writing Throughout the research process
Keywords:Social work education, Field education, Qualitative research, Writing, Phenomenological research, Bridling, Reflection, Doctoral writing
This article presents my reflections on becoming a researcher and explores the usefulness of writing throughout the research process. Having work published is a key performance indicator in academia, and writing is an essential skill needed to get work published. However, writing in research is more than using this skill to achieve publication and disseminate findings; writing about research offers opportunities to ensure methodological congruence and professional growth. I explore how reflective writing throughout my PhD process in Australia strengthened my reflections about the impact of my own assumptions and ideas in the research process. Moreover, a cyclic process of data analysis and dissemination of the findings via conference and peer-reviewed publications contributed to engagement with the data, the formulation of ideas and the exploration of new data with a fresh mind and curiosity. I propose that writing throughout the research process assisted me in staying within my methodological framework, engaged me with the participants and a wider audience, helped me consider voice in research, enabled an early submission of the PhD and facilitated my growth as a novice researcher.
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