Metaphors for Research

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Re: Metaphors for Research

Postby Ann » 17 Jan 2016 20:03

Research is like a holiday to me. It's not that it is fun and relaxing. I mean it is timely and costly, and you’ve got so many places to go.
You should start with considering the place to go. Your decision honestly depends on your personal preference if you have one and if you are self-sponsored. You can go wherever you want to, but often you just follow the trends people do or what your sponsor want. When you go on a holiday, you usually have your companions, so you have to listen to them and manage to reach to an agreement. Do you think researchers are free to choose what they want to study?
To start out, you should have a broad interest though. If not, a decision can never be made because there are too many to go for. Reviews and photos presented by other holiday-makers can help your making decisions. However, reading too much review can sometimes confuse you more and more about where to go.
If you’re a novice holiday-maker with a limited time and money, you may think of taking a package holiday with a well-designed itinerary because it has everything taken care of. It is much like a researcher following a research paradigm to make sure that he can get to the finish line with the limitations.
If you’re an adventure vacationer wishing to go somewhere new and challenging where no one or only few people have been before, you must embrace the risk of failure, so you need to plan very carefully to ensure success. You have to decide your own tentative program and choose the right transportation for the sites. You have to prepare for any changes or unexpected problems that can stop you from the plan. However much you plan for a holiday, you never get it quite right. Remember luck is another factor! If your first holiday failed, would you go again?
You may go there again if you think it’s still worth trying and you are more confident about the success because you’ve learnt a lot from the failure. If you learn that there are too many factors to deal with (variables to control in research), the experience of failure is just enough for that kind of holiday you might never want to go even once again.
Why do you think people always return to the same holiday place?
What do you think more important for you, experience you’ve got or great pictures you can present to other people?
For me, I would return to the same holiday if that place still has more interesting spots which I missed to explore. However, I would prefer going to new places that are of my interest and worth my time and money. I think research is like a holiday in these ways.
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Re: Metaphors for Research

Postby Richard » 18 Jan 2016 08:21

A thought-provoking metaphor, although it's a pity that it's not fun and relaxing! I find the idea of whether you should return to the same place or go somewhere new interesting. Presumably returning to the same place means doing research within the same broad sub-area of applied linguistics, whereas going somewhere new means researching a very different topic. I would guess that most researchers return to the same place (or at most 2 or 3 places). For holiday-makers, whether they return to the same place or go somewhere new may depend on whether they have made an investment in a specific place (e.g. buying a holiday cottage/condo). How would such an investment relate to research?
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Re: Metaphors for Research

Postby Jdillon » 18 Jan 2016 19:52

Conducting a research is like going down the rabbit hole in Alice and wonderland.It's an escape from material reality into the chaos of our own thoughts as one try to Discover one's blind spot and attempt to overcome our own preconceived ideas about the world to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon. After battling with self doubt and uncertainty one may make it through with a better understanding about the phenomenon and One self. The thing is The experience will transform the person and no one can truly understand what happened because Only you know what's going on in your own research.
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Re: Metaphors for Research

Postby Thiwa » 29 Jan 2016 11:48

Research is like visiting an art gallery
If you are going to art gallery, you might want to learn something represented through artworks (objectives). You use my eyes to look at different pictures or you can ask other people how they look and perceive messages of the art collection (methodology). Then, you collect as much as information you and other can see- line, shapes, colors, and textures- in order to put together the data. You will analyze the data (based on theory of arts) presented in each picture and the whole collection of the picture to get theme or what artists want to represent or tell the audiences. Through different perceptions, you might understand the message the artists represented, or might find something different based on various perspectives of audiences.
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Re: Metaphors for Research

Postby Eric Ambele » 09 Jan 2017 16:58

I think research is like a ‘sprint’. The destination, usually at the outset may not be clearly known but this should in no way halt the undertaking. The travel lane may change, however, nothing is found without journeying into the unknown to know.
Eric Ambele
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Re: Metaphors for Research

Postby Ajarn Ark » 11 Jan 2017 14:25


Since the formation and existence of this world depend on the different perspectives of human species, I would like to define research metaphorically according to its approach and purpose.

For Basic Research, it’s like a corn planting. A farmer should check the variety and quality of the seeds and the soil or land as well before he plants them to surely know the congruent parameter of its growth. He must observe carefully their development throughout its growing process. He must be clued-up on which pesticide or fertilizer that is applicable based on the type of nature of the corn. If he finds out inconsistency towards the outcomes, he must put all of them in the list and use it in the next season of planting for more bountiful harvests.

For Applied Research, it’s like building an ark that will save the people from a diluted phenomenon.

An ark was a gigantic boat that could be found in the Genesis, the first book of the bible. God wanted to cleanse the earth from wickedness and sins; thus, He commanded Noah, a faithful and obedient man to the words of God, to build an ark to preserve the righteous people from the catastrophic flood. Noah carefully obeyed the instructions of God and after all he asked the people to enter in the ark. However, only Noah’s family and pairs of animals came in. When the flood arose, all creatures that ignored the warning perished on the face of the earth.

In building an ark, it requires depth understanding towards its process and purpose. The builder must carefully follow the instructions of his Master. The materials to be used must be authentic and durable that cannot be ruined by any forms of catastrophe. To achieve its absolute purpose, it requires faith, infinite patience, and strong determination. Then finally when it’s done, tell the people – the whole world to get in the ark because the deadly flood is coming.
Ajarn Ark
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Re: Metaphors for Research

Postby Pukan_walker » 15 Jan 2017 10:44

For me, doing research is like having my own child.

I have to spend most of my time looking after him, finding useful source as much as possible to raise him. I'm exhausted in every day life but can't stop thinking and worrying about him. After growing up, I still be worried if he will contribute as much as I expected to the people.

Being a parent is a difficult task, doing a great research is a harsh task either.

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Re: Metaphors for Research

Postby Patrick » 15 Jan 2017 23:36

For me, doing research is like "managing a football team".

You need to have a system, resources( players), budgets and passions! They key to managing a football team is having a system that works best for your team, likewise you need to find thr system that works for your research. You also need to know how to use your players, likewise you need to know the tools and use them wisely abd timely. After all, foitball is all about passion, so is research. You do somrhing you are passionate with and hope that others will like what you do :)

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Re: Metaphors for Research

Postby Richard » 13 Jan 2021 13:42

Highlighting the importance of passion is interesting.
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