Research and the skill of note taking

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One of the most important qualities that a researcher is required to have is the ability to take notes. They should be open to the fact that they could get vital pieces of information at any time during the day. They could also get new ideas at the least expected moments. They could sit down to eat lunch and they would suddenly get a great new idea. They would be with friends and suddenly they would notice something that would add a new dimension to their research. It is impossible to expect a person to keep everything stored at the back of his head and use it for reference later. The human brain is a good library, but it is not that good.

That is why the researcher should always keep a small book or diary in hand in which he can jot down notes whenever he wants. This is especially important when he is at the library and he notices a small but vital piece of information in a book that he might not have planned on looking up. There is no telling which piece of information could come in useful at what point in the project. It is a collection of all these small ideas that add up to the large chapters which finally culminate in the dissertation.

Those who are doing research should be very observant and have a keen eye for detail. Researchers in the social sciences should notice every aspect of the world around them since much of their study is the study of human behaviour. Those who are doing their research in business should be aware of how ideas are generated at big and small companies. But no matter what field they are in, note taking is a skill that every researcher is required to have.


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