While everyone in college will be given the opportunity to do research, not everyone can really do it unless they possess the qualities required of a good researcher. Just like leaders, researchers can also be made, not just born.
But there are innate qualities that researchers must possess in order to succeed in this challenging task which requires a lot of imagination and perseverance.
What then are the qualities of a good researcher? Here are 5 notable attributes of people who tread the path towards discovery:
1. A good researcher manifests thirst for new information.
A good researcher shows an open mind about things, not just taking things by themselves but explores new grounds. He adopts the philosophy of “thinking outside the box”, leaving out the conventional for something innovative. A good researcher treads the unknown frontier.
Evidences of this thirst for new information can observed in people who do not stop learning and those who maintain an open mind for new possibilities to happen, even when everything appears to have been discovered or studied, or options exhausted.
Two hundred years ago, has anyone ever thought that man could go to the moon, or explore the depths of the sea? Or tap on the keys of the cellphone to communicate with another person so far away?
2. A good researcher has a keen sense of things around him.
Keenness is a quality developed through an observant attitude. A good researcher sees something more out of a common occurrence around him. And he sees this quickly.
He can see a wiggling worm inside a flower, or the beautiful color combinations of a wild plant, or simply, notices the small fly in the burger.
Do you know which part of the vertically-oriented traffic light is green?
3. A good researcher likes to reflect or think about the things they encounter.
People who pause and reflect about the knowledge that they gained, either formally in school or through their experience, gain insights. Insights are creative thoughts that make one nod his head and say, “Aha, this is something I have been looking for!” A creative idea was born.
4. A good researcher must be intelligent enough to express his ideas.
How can you express your thoughts if you cannot write? The point here is that a good researcher must be adept in the written language.
How can people understand your point when you are the only one who can understand what you have written?
This, actually, is a quality that appears to be ingrained in gifted individuals. But if you recognize your weakness in this realm, why not seek someone who can?
5. A good researcher applies a systematic approach in assessing situations.
Research requires systematic and objective thinking to arrive at something. Logical reasoning, therefore, is applied by a good researcher.
He is able to analyze things, meaning, he can break down a complex situation into manageable bits that he can focus his attention into (see article on conceptual framework).
Do you have these qualities? If not, then it’s time for you to harness the hidden talents in you.
©2012 October 24 Patrick Regoniel