Slow and Steady Wins the Race

After finishing cleaning all of my data, I have gotten a draft of my literature review! I found reading the literature and writing the lit review to be one of my favorite parts of my project so far. It was nice to read literature from a wide variety of fields; from more dense papers about the benefits and limitations of qualitative research methods, to some very interesting studies about newspaper endorsements of candidates in elections. I tried to write the draft of my lit review in a more general style, making sure to cover all of my bases. As my project moves forward and my research question becomes more refined and defined, I will go back to narrow my lit review down to provide an in depth more focused look at the specific issues raised in the literature about my research question.

Speaking of my project moving forward, I have begun work in R (cue the dramatic music). I have definitely become more comfortable in R over the last couple of weeks but my progress has been frustratingly slow. Working with a statistics program is totally different from anything I have done in school so far. Most of my work throughout the school year consists of researching and writing papers, so working with R is a totally different type of work and I think it will take me some time to adjust to that type of thought process of work style.

I have about a week and a half left in my 5 weeks here at W&M over the summer. I hope to get a better grasp of the ins and outs of my data sets by working in R by the end of my summer research. It will certainly be nice to have a break from the academic mindset as I enjoy the rest of my summer! When the fall roles around I will be ready to hit the ground running, continuing to work on my independent project as well as working with other members of the lab in our group projects.