MSRE Week 3: Finding a Rhythm in the Research Process

During the third week of MSRE, McNair Scholars reviewed each other’s Introduction, Literature Review, and Background sections. They were asked to critically assess one another and be receptive to feedback. With this feedback, they will begin a second draft of these sections in the weeks to come and be one step closer to a completed research project.

Reinaldo Alcalde and Misam Ali

Mollie Dittmer and Christian Padilla







This week, Mollie Dittmer and Misam Ali provided us with their insight into their MSRE experiences. Mollie is currently examining factors at play in retaining participants in a child sexual abuse group treatment. Misam is researching monetary policies of Sudan, Chad, and Ethiopia to see if historical colonization affected their respective policies.


UNL McNair: Thus far, what have you learned about conducting a full scale research project?

Mollie: So far, I’ve learned that it’s a lot more time consuming than I had first envisioned. There’s really a lot more that goes into it than I had originally thought- like making the data coding packets that I’ve been using and finding the files that I’ve needed to code in various file cabinets. Also, I have to be extremely organized in order to fully maximize my time that I spend down in the lab. It can be easy to get distracted, but then you’re just putting off work and making it more stressful on yourself.

Misam: Thus far, I’ve learned to be patient with a full-scale research project. Developing a strong research project takes time and effort; it doesn’t happen in a matter of days or weeks. When you’re really passionate about your project, you want to keep moving forward because you’re amazed at what you find and your abilities. It’s a priceless feeling!


UNL McNair: How do you feel about your research so far? How has it been going? Are you enjoying the experience?

Mollie Reading Participant Files

Mollie: The research experience is interesting so far. I’ve worked with various graduate students on their research before, but being in charge is a lot of responsibility. I’ve been working quite a bit lately to make sure that I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m enjoying the experience so far! It’s a lot of work, but I know that the end result will be worth it since I’ll have a full research report of data that I found and worked so hard on.

Misam: It’s going great, better than I planned. At first, I was very nervous that I would be lost, my project would be boring/weak, or simply I wouldn’t be able to stay engaged. To my luck, I’m experiencing the complete opposite. I’m very passionate about my project because ultimately this is what I plan to research in my future career. I feel this experience is a preview of my future career, so I’m serious with this project. At the same time, I’m learning more about myself as a writer. Finding my true weaknesses and my strengths as a writer has not only improved my research project, but it has improved me as a better student. This MSRE has truly challenged me as a writer.


UNL McNair: What are your research plans for the upcoming weeks?

Mollie: I’m currently finishing up recoding Project SAFE files to show each client’s participation and retention, and then I’m going to begin entering them into a database next week. After they’re all entered into the database, then we’ll begin running analyses and start getting our results.

Misam Reading Background Theory

Misam: After receiving feedback from my introduction and literature review, I feel more confident in my project. I now know what I’m good at and what I need to improve on, so I feel I’m moving along in this project, which is great. Plus I feel more ready to attack the next sections! These upcoming weeks, I’ll start writing the Methods section, AKA, the meat and bones of my project. There’s a lot of information that needs to be organized in a concise and logic matter. With confidence and support, I know MSRE experience will be an insightful experience.


Thank you both for taking time out of your busy schedules to respond! Good luck in the following weeks of MSRE. We look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor!

Explore posts in the same categories: MSRE, Professional Development, Research & Internships, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, UNL McNair Alumni

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: