From Intention to Composition: How Seminarians Conceptualize Research

Timothy Dwight Lincoln, Laura Marie Lincoln
2011 Theological Librarianship  
Using interactive qualitative analysis, this study explored how students at one mainline seminary conceptualized their process of writing research papers. The research questions were: [1] What themes do seminary students use to describe their research process? [2] How do seminary students relate these themes into a system of thought (mindmap)? [3] How do seminary students decide to stop gathering information during their research process? [4] How are other people involved, if at all, in the
more » ... rmation gathering that students do? Based on group and individual interviews, students identified six themes of doing research. The process included self-care, a preparation phase, information gathering, managing time, writing a draft, and revising. The aspects of the process that influenced most others were self-care and time management. The most common reasons reported for stopping gathering information were having enough information to complete the assignment and time constraints. Participants reported that they sometimes consulted professors and classmates as well as librarians when they gathered information. Students conceptualized the research process as a flow of influence from intending to gathering information, culminating in composing a product. Findings of the study support the continued need for building local collections, information literacy training, and the desirability of breaking the standard research assignment into a series of logically connected staged assignments. The authors propose a model of faculty-librarian collaboration in which librarians serve as research mentors.
doi:10.31046/tl.v4i1.178 fatcat:6y5tik5qw5btbaopojythjhypm