Posting on the Academic/Research Board?
Posted by Coordinator on Jan 29, 2008 at 09:37:00
There has been a general annoyance towards visitors who post here claiming to be researchers--the annoyance is not without reason:
The responses/reactions to your requests may depend on how well your questions are articulated:
- COPY-PASTING IS NOT PROPER RESEARCH
- Many a student has appeared on the Academic board, announcing their subject and expecting others to do their research for them; not bothering or unable to follow up when ex-members respond:
- For example, see discussions generated by topic: "M.A. thesis interview needed" -- Initally, ex-members were trying to help, but became frustrated because the "researcher" simply wanted them to confirm assumptions and misunderstandings about the way things were in the cult. When her premises were challenged, she began quoting a textbook to explain her assumptions; when someone quoted it right back and took the trouble to explain that they did not see grounds for her postulations, she didn't/couldn't follow through and eventually quit.
- There are those who claim to want to undertake ambitious goals supposedly for the benefit of ex-members, without understanding the sentiment of the ex-members they are supposedly trying to help.
As one reader pointed out on GenX, no one will take a "researcher" seriously who doesn't spell right or take the time to articulate him/herself properly
(see "Documentary Makers"). Clear articulate requests usually result in helpful and articulate responses. Some very intelligent and helpful exchanges on our boards have been material for countless researchers. They don't always happen on the Academic board.
If you wish to do research on the Academic board:
- take the time to define your goals: outline how you plan to conduct your research and how you will use it to form your conclusions
- try not to assume too much: sometimes things just aren't the way they appear to be
- help ex-members to help you: tell them what you think you know so far (check if it is true!), and what information you think you're still missing, and ask how/where to find the information for yourself
- get specific: ask direct questions (avoid talking about talking someday sometime somewhere else)
- use sensitivity: tread lightly and check if people wish to cooperate; check if they agree you can make a difference with your ideas
- know who you are dealing with: Ex-members are damaged, have been burned by people exploiting their story, and are very suspicious by nature. They've seen many a person come along making grandiose claims, trying to set themselves up as the hero of the hour.
- factor this: You are dealing with very complex and emotionally laden topics, and emotionally scarred people--it is only normal they would want to know you are genuinely concerned about finding out how it really was. If they perceive you to be shallow and uncommitted you will not get far--ex-members will not waste time on out-of-depth researchers who wish to compile over-simplified sound bites.
- be patient: sometimes regulars make the mistake of expecting newbies to see what they see, know what they know, since the information people request is usually available by following links from our site's front page
- persist: don't be discouraged from asking questions
Have you read our Academic/Research board's Rules and Guidelines
Does your post belong here?
If not, for general discussions, please use the GenX board
If you agree that your post belongs here, then you're welcome to proceed
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