For the most part, the only type of research I have done in my life thus far has been for school, whether it be a research project, or research for mock trial. When I first began to have to research for homework and for different clubs I found that I was NOT a big fan of research. It was laborious, tedious, and I thought that I could do a much better job of proving a point by just going off of what I already knew. So, I would try to cut corners and rely on my ability to convey points without exactly backing them up with facts, which led to me oftentimes having to fill the gaps of my argument with what I assumed to be facts. I quickly realized that this was not a strategy that would benefit me in the long run of life. My grades began to decline as teachers started calling me out on my “findings”, and it became apparent that I was using filler answers that didn’t really do anything to show research or reflection of any sort.
This was during a period of time where students began to start doing research and turning in work that was far superior to mine, because I had obviously not done research and was unable to go as in depth or provide competitive work. Similar to when a naturally talented athlete begins to get surpassed by the athletes around him who continue to practice to get better, instead of coasting off of raw talent. I quickly realized that I needed to start “practicing” and learn to do research so that I could once again compete with my classmates.
Now I recognize that though research may take more time than just going with your gut feeling, it is better to enter an argument fully prepared and researched. By doing this I am able to have a better understanding, and give myself a better chance at succeeding in proving my point. Which has come in handy for mock trial, and especially so for Notre Dame, where everyone is way smarter and I find myself constantly trying to research more so that I can stay ahead or catch up.