Research identity. Wow, that’s loaded. I’ve never given research much thought in the way that others have assumed I fit into it. I am a researcher (something I would not have said to myself a year ago), but the kind of research that I do not only adds to who I am as a person, but also gives light to my field. I used to think that research was solely associated with thick bundles of paper with very small lettering and complex words. I used to think that research was the cut and dry area of english/writing that I never had an interest in. One day I realized that I do a heck of a lot of research in my work to despise it so much, which is when I figured I only feel that way when it is not a research subject that brings me joy and sparks genuine curiosity. Every time I open a book, highlight, annotate, watch a video/interview, read an article, or google something… I am researching. I am constantly researching more often than not.
Knowing what research is is actually a very recent thing for me, and honestly, I might only have what is right at the tip of the iceberg. I might have been doing it from a very young age without even knowing it. The kind of research I feel I do now started in high school. I learned to make use of libraries as well as the internet and cite correctly with appropriate credit. I even knew that I could look at the bibliography/references at the end of the piece of work that I chose to find more sources. I thought that was pretty good for a high schooler because now that I work in a writing center, I am shocked that some students are not even familiar with parenthetical citation within the body of a text.
Yes, I do have a research identity. However, I change and evolve every single day and that extends to my brain as well. My research identity can change a little tomorrow and the next day after that. I am always looking for ways to improve, so I want to learn new techniques; I want to find out about tools that I have never heard of before so that I can push my skills forward now in graduate school. The question is no longer “How do I do it?”, but rather “In what other ways can I do it?” “What else is there?” because there is so much. I feel I still need help with weeding out the necessary/unnecessary, and I am generally concerned with not knowing where else to look.