At the beginning of the year, I chose to take Age of Exploration over Medieval World because I needed to improve on my project and researching skills. I know that I can write an interpretive essay and take tests or quizzes, but when it comes to researching and presenting, I could definitely use some work. This has not been easy for me, but I have definitely learned a great deal about the researching process, things that will help me out with research projects in the future.
It is not always easy to come up with a very specific topic based on a much broader one. One of the first things that I realized in this class was that when trying to narrow down your broad subject in to some smaller focus, it is very important to read the background information on the broad topic. From this background research, you’re bound to find something that you are interested in researching further. This was the method that I used to find my topics for both projects, and I was successful both times. Not only is it easier to sharpen your focus on a topic by reading about the background information, but the information that you learn from this background research is also very important to know in order to fully understand your narrowed-down topic that you have chosen.
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” -Olin Miller
Another thing that I have discovered through this class is that there is no good reason to procrastinate. Procrastination is a loop of unproductiveness that many of my peers (including myself occasionally) get trapped in quite often. My take on the reason for procrastination is that on big projects, we don’t know where to start, and we think that if we put it off until tomorrow, we will figure out what to do. However, if you put it off and stop thinking about your project, you’re never going to get anywhere. If you just do a little bit every day, then you will be much less stressed on the last few days, and your finished product will be of a much higher quality. It is not easy to overcome procrastination, but it is possible. One way that has helped me in the past was to plan out what I will do each day with fairly equal amounts of work, and make sure those tasks get done.
Here is a link to a page about overcoming procrastination that backs up the idea of planning your time, and adds some more ways to stop procrastinating: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/overcome-procrastination-once-and-for-all.html
Stone, K. “Overcome Procrastination Once and for All.” Lifehack. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov 2011. <http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/overcome-procrastination-once-and-for-all.html>.