Final Update & Future Advice

I finally finished my paper, “An Overview of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance with a Focus on Health Systems Strengthening.” Rather than discussing my research, I will create a list of tips that might aid future researchers.

  1. Don’t change your topic – I change my specific topic/research question twice in this process, although all of my topics were focused on sustainability and ethics in global health. While I enjoyed reading a wide variety of articles and learning about a multitude of topics, I would have enjoyed more time to work on my paper.
  2. Write about topics as you read about them – I read this piece of advice in someone else’s Monroe blog post and I completely agree with it. While whatever you write can change if you don’t know the format of your final paper from the offset, it can be difficult to go back and summarize arguments and evidence that you haven’t read in a few weeks.
  3. Bounce ideas off of others – By discussing your research with others, whether that be your advisor or other experts in your field of study, you can learn what types of questions to ask. This is something that I wish I had done sooner because I definitely think that spending a lot of time on my own reading and writing was pretty mind-numbing.
  4. Read articles from a variety of sources before deciding on a concrete topic – This is something that I thankfully did and have learned to do from my previous research classes and experiences. When you decide on a specific research question before reviewing the literature, you can end up researching a topic that is data scarce, already excessively researched, etc.

I hope everyone who has been on this fantastic Monroe journey has thoroughly enjoyed it!

Comments

  1. Hi Nadia, thanks for sharing! Looking to my experience this summer, I agree with your tips! However, it’s important to remember that sometimes changing your topic is a necessity. Being confined to a question that simply can’t be answered given the amount of time and resources one has available is counterproductive and demoralizing. I started out with a question that, I realized, had only ever been partially explored in one book that took seven years and a research team to compile! As such, I think it’s important to go into the research process knowing that a) no matter how good of a question you’ve come up with, you have to be flexible, and b) it’s important to realize that changing your topic is not a sign of weakness or failure, but a strategic and necessary part of the research process.