The joys of research…   Leave a comment

I have a love hate relationship with conducting Communication research.  On one hand, research provides the opportunity to learn more about any particular subject.  On the other hand, I have never been asked to conduct research for the sake of learning something new, it seems as if a twenty-page term paper has been permanently chained to the idea of research.  That being said, the majority of the classes that I have taken at Queens have required some kind of research-based term paper.

As I progressed through the Communication program, my professors continued to raise their expectations for the work that I submitted.  I have written more than six research papers so far, none of which were as difficult and tedious than the research report that I wrote for Middle Eastern Media.  Dr. Nawawy assigned research topics for his students in an attempt to provide a clear starting point.  I was assigned the topic of ‘reality television in the Middle East’, and I nearly fainted when I realized that the paper needed to be at least ten pages long.


The idea of writing more than ten pages on anything seemed completely ridiculous to me as a freshmen, but Dr. Nawawy helped me throughout the entire process.  He helped review journal articles with me to make sure that my research had a strong foundation, and he must have reviewed at least four different drafts of my paper before I submitted the final copy.

What I remember about my research on Middle Eastern reality television was that it took an incredible amount of work.  I felt as if I was trying to stitch together tiny portions of one person’s thoughts into my own report.  Even when I was frustrated, the encouragement of Dr. Nawawy was enough to help me finish my research.  Dr. Nawawy advised me on how to tackle a research report in a number of ways, especially when it came to constructing an outline.  The amount of individual attention that Dr. Nawawy was able to give me was substantial.

My other research reports have highlighted a number of topics like: the mechanics of proxemics in regards to nonverbal communication, an investigation of the cultural significance of the television show Weeds, as well as an examination of the correlations between personality type and reality television program preference.  Throughout the ordeal of writing over 100 pages of research reports, I can still imagine Dr. Nawawy looking over my shoulder, encouraging me to dig a little deeper; to strive for excellence.  Admittedly, conducting research is a very extensive process, but when I look back on all of the knowledge that I have learned, and how far my own skills in writing and research have come, I smile because I know that it was all worth it.

Reality TV and its effects on the Middle East


Posted February 21, 2013 by Big Man's Research Adventures in Capstone Reflections

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