Learn How to Research!

Just a few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend of mine at a softball game.  I asked her how she was doing, and she just let out a big sigh.  I could tell by the look on her face she was frustrated with something, but since we were winning I knew it couldn’t be the game.

“I got accepted into grad school, and I started working on my Master’s degree,” she said with a disheartened voice.

I expressed my congratulations to her, and how excited I was for her.  But I noticed the look on her face and the sound of her voice, so I asked her how it was going.  She stated, “I wish I would have learned how to do research when I was at  ****the name of the college has been removed to protect the innocent****.  They didn’t teach me how to do research,, how to find data and information that I needed, how to use the library and databases and how to write about the research I did.  I’m only in the third week of my first class, and I’m worried I won’t make it.”  I assured her that the more she researched and wrote, the better she would get it at.  I offered her words of encouragement along with links to websites that might help if she had questions.  I also told her to give me a shout if there was ever anything I could do to help.  “Thanks!” she replied, “I just might take you up on that.”

It was at that very moment I decided that no student of mine would ever be able to say that, or if they do utter those words, it sure wasn’t from my lack of trying.  When i received an email from the WVWC Annie Merner PfiefferLibrary offering to provide workshops for classes, I quickly jumped on the offer so I could get slots early in the semester for my Principle of Marketing classes and Social Media Marketing class.  The SMM class is mostly juniors and seniors, but I felt the refresher wouldn’t hurt.  But the Principles class is mostly made up of freshmen and sophomores, and this is the first marketing class WVWC business students will take.  So, I wanted to get them started in the right direction early on.


Both of the Principle of Marketing classes had the workshop this afternoon.  A total of 66 students took the workshop divided into two separate sessions.  The librarian, Beth Rogers, did an awesome job showing the students the Mintel Academic platform as well as other databases for business students such as Statista, and Sage Journals to mention a couple.  I’ve been using databases all throughout my academic career, and I learned a thing or two…. or three, or four….. today.  All I could do was sit there and say to myself… “Where was this last weekend while I was doing that 14 page research paper on the marketing mix strategies of the Jeep brand and three of its vehicles?!?!?”  Well, now I know.

So my recommendation for today is learn how to research!! Learn how to find the the right database on a library website, then learn how to find just the right data and information on that database.  Then learn how to write all about it (I’ll save that for another post).

You may be a student or a practitioner, young or old, novice or expert…. it doesn’t matter what your specialty in the business world is… administration, accounting, management, human relations, marketing, whatever…. sometime or another, there’s a good chance you will be involved with some kind of research that will require secondary data and information that you cannot find on your own.  Helloooooooo, research!!!

Look for webinars online… I’m sure some of the larger libraries have just what you need in a digital format, free of charge and available at your convenience.  Look it up!  Better yet, I encourage you to spend some time at your school or city library with your librarian. If you’re a student….  regardless if you’re at the high school, under-grad or graduate level…. go to your school’s library and ask a librarian to show you the ropes. That’s what they’re there for, and I am sure they will share their knowledge.  That’s just what librarians do!!!

Thanks, Beth, for sharing your knowledge with my classes… and me… today!! wp-1472589917486.jpg

Until next time!! pc


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