Having recently completed the first Age of Ex project, I’ve learned a lot about how the research process can be conducted in order to maximize my learning experience. One of the first lessons I’m able to take away from this project about the 15th century is to not leave everything to the last minute. Early preparation is essential and will give you a better foundation for your research. I started my project by looking at the Wikipedia page on my subject, the Rise of the Ottoman Empire. As always, I found Wikipedia to be a very good source for background reading in order to give myself an overall understanding of the topic. For more specific details and to verify the information gathered, I turned to the our school databases, such as World Book Advanced and Ancient and Medieval History Online. I also consulted maps in order to give myself a visual representation of the information I had gathered. One should always make sure to gather information from a variety of sources, so as not to present the information in a biased manner.
“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”
In my view, the point of research is to learn something new or interesting, and then share those findings with others. Taking all of these lessons from the first project, I hope to apply them to the Reformation project in order to find out things I didn’t know before. The ability to learn at your own pace is one I feel is undervalued, and it is this ability that makes this class so enjoyable for me. I believe people learn better when they are learning about something they want to learn about. As such, the way each project is structured so that I can pick any subject relating to a certain topic (in this case, the Reformation) enables me to learn much more about a certain time period or topic than if I had been assigned a topic. Because of the freedom of these projects and the lessons I’ve learned from the 15th century project, I thoroughly enjoyed this first research experience and look forward to delving deeper into the world of the Reformation.