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Vanessa Vaquerano SSR #2

SUMMARY: In Dana Lynn Driscolls essay, Introduction to Primary Research:

Observations, Surveys, and Interviews, the author constructs a guide on how to conduct
a successful primary research for first year college students. Basing them off principles of
scientific methods, Driscoll provides the student with three methods, observation,
interviews and surveys, that will help the writer create a solid and significant research
SYNTHESIS: When I saw that I would have to read 23 pages of Driscolls essay I
immediately pouted. It was 11 at night and I was tired, but I had no one to blame but
myself. My first hope was that itd be nothing like Runcimans essay, Fun? because I
didnt want to bore myself to sleep like I did for that reading. Fortunately, this wasnt the
case. After reading Driscolls essay about primary research I actually became thrilled that
Id be writing a research paper (and thats unusual for me). The interview section is what
really sparked my interest. Driscoll insisted that one should not be afraid to ask people
you do not know for interviews (Driscoll 164). I remember in high school this was a
problem for me; I didnt want to do face-to-face interviews with people Ive never met. I
was shy and apprehensive about the whole process. What would I ask? Would they think
Im a waste of time? Now that Im in college, I feel like a different person. Im actually
excited to find womens rights activist for my project to interview. As Driscoll also
stated, its a great way to learn in depth information from a person (Driscoll 164). Of
course, a successful interview will need good thought-provoking questions that are clear
and open-ended which is something I will definitely need to work on. Apart from her
essay creating enthusiasm, I also realized that in a way I inadvertently use these primary
research methods in my everyday life. Observation: I observe individuals, animals,
sounds, smells everyday. At times Im using participant observation, say when I go to my
friends familys party and interact with individuals Ive never met. At times its
unobtrusive, like when I see people working out at the gym while Im working (I work at
the gym, I dont just casually watch people work out. Thatd be creepy.) Interviews: I ask
friends and others questions all the time. When I dont understand something someone
tells me, I feel the need to ask more than one question in order to learn more about the
topic at hand. Sometimes its face to face with friends or sometimes its via-email with a
professor regarding questions about a certain assignment. Survey: when I go out
sometimes, I ask my housemates and friends if my outfit looks okay. Although its a
small selection of people, the questions I ask still help me develop a general claim. A
claim I particularly found intriguing from Driscoll was when she stated, the ultimate
goal in conducting primary research is to learn about something new that can be
confirmed by others and to eliminate our own biases in the process (Driscoll 154).
Whether its used in my everyday life or a research project, primary research is a
fundamental way to learn about a topic.
QUESTIONS: The author states that primary research is useful especially using it in
your local community. This is neat, but my research question is based in another country.
How could I go about using these primary research methods in my project other than
using interviews online? How am I going to gain access to these different groups? To tie
in with the last questions, is there a need to use more than one method (observation+
interviews, interviews+ surveys, etc) to make a successful research paper or is using one
method good enough?