A Research Method, For All You Students
With that important matter covered, I move to yet another important matter: that of historical research. For another post or two, I'm going to lay out how I do historical research. Why, you might ask, should I care? Who cares how you do historical research? Well, I have anticipated your question, and am prepared with an answer. I have done research for the last six years of my life. I have done research in Augusta, ME, Washington, DC, and Louisville, KY. I like doing it, no, I love doing it, and I might have a few ideas that can help you as you work on your term papers--or if you just want to read and write more productively than you have in the past. I'm no genius, but I'll present a quick, streamlined, easy-to-use method that should drastically reduce the amount of time you spend wading through material and should allow you to write your papers in half the time it normally takes you.
I understand that these are rather dramatic claims, and for that I apologize, and assure that I am not about to sell you anything. The only reason I want to talk about this at all is to share the sweat of my past work. I also have a heart for fellow students, be they seminarians, college students, or laypeople studying the Bible. If my research method can help you just a little bit, that would be great, and I would be happy. I do research in the way I'll outline not to take shortcuts or to do shoddy work, but to be wise with time, to use it effectively, and to cut down on needless work. It seems to me that there's little precious little guidance about how to write a good paper, and even less on how to begin to write a good paper. I want to offer a very humble little method by which to begin to write a paper (meaning the research process), and I would submit that when one does really good and helpful research, one sets oneself up to write a good paper. More plainly put, if you do good research, it'll be hard to write a bad paper.
In the next blog post or two, then, we'll look at the scintillating, term-paper-destroying, Strachan Research Method (no, it's not copyrighted, and yes, they would surely reject me if I tried). I hope it will be of some small help to you as you attempt to do good work for the Lord and yet preserve a normal, balanced home life and church involvement. Again, I'm not up for shortcuts or cheap tricks, but I am all for efficiency, and I may just be able to help you a bit toward that end.