Lessons Learned

Throughout this research project, I learned a few things that would have made my life a whole lot easier if I had been previously aware of.  For one, I found that staying positive about running into dead-ends is key for a successful project.  I ran into multiple dead-ends or areas in my research that just did not have a large amount of information about them.  Even more specifically for my project was the problem of running into information that had already been discovered.  Although this proved to be a problem for me, I eventually improved at stepping back and taking what I could from that experience.  With the right mindset I could usually use my ‘failure’ to guide me on my next topic: where to look, how to spell a name differently, what has already been looked into, ect. 

Another area that I had problems with early on in my research was failing to figure out what had already been researched versus what needed to be ‘fleshed-out’.  A key to this is making sure to find a wide range of secondary materials as well as consult in depth the materials that have already been compiled.  This is not to say that after finding this information I would be able to skip looking at these previously found sources, but I needed to look at them and try to find things that were contradictory or mistakenly not viewed as important as other.  It was just a matter of view point that was taken and this small change in mindset allowed me to hopefully improve the types of sources that are now available about my topic.

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