College is the place where people come to build an education and a better future. It is where individuals decide the career they want to pursue and face the challenges that come with being a college student. Those challenges being too much classwork, essays, exams, homework. As well as depression, anxiety, and homesickness. But what’s most important is the struggles that minorities face. Based on the discussions we had in class, which mainly focused on identity, I knew I wanted my topic to relate to my identity. On my last major essay, I wrote about the text The Myth of the Latin Woman by Judith Ortiz Cofer, which also influenced the topic I decided to choose. For my research topic, I picked the underrepresentation of minorities in the STEM field. Being that I am a Latina, a woman, and a Chemistry major, I wanted my topic to connect in some way with me. By doing research I discovered different information that speaks upon the underrepresentation of minorities in the STEM field, it was a process but looking up different sources, and using different databases I was able to come across a good amount of credible sources.
To begin with, when first thinking about a topic for major essay two I wanted to make sure it was a topic I could be passionate about. So I went to Google and looked up different topics to write about, but none of them drew my attention. I kept going back and thinking about the texts we would read in class, but I still didn’t have an actual topic to research. The thing that stayed on my mind throughout the research process was talking about issues minorities face in the nation overall. I not only wanted to speak about minorities though, I wanted to speak about the underrepresentation they face. I started to think more and more about different topics, and I did more research about the underrepresentation of minorities and picked one of the subjects in which they don’t hold much representation, which is the STEM field. Knowing that I wanted my topic to be the underrepresentation of minorities in the STEM field, I had something solid to do my research on. I started off with social media research, but the experience I had with it was too biased, and the individuals who spoke about the topic had no credentials or proof to back. I don’t want to provide references on biased material, as well as material that is not credible. When I looked up the topic on Google, what I noticed that appeared the most was information with statistics on research and questions that applied to minorities. Not only statistics on the under-representation, but also the way it affects these individuals. After looking for research on Google, I went on YouTube and looked at videos about my topic and what I found that inspired me even more on my topic was a ted talk. It’s a video about minorities in STEM and the speaker Nicole Cabrera Salazar doesn’t get biased as she speaks but instead raises awareness on the topic. This video allowed me to know exactly what to look for when I do my research which is some of the points she talked about. Overall, searching for non-scholarly articles was just a matter of checking if the sites had any references to where they got their information was from, and to avoid anything biased, as well as making sure it was up to date. Not only that but also something that would allow my topic and argument to sound strong.
My second step in researching was through scholarly articles. I used the databases provided by our school library, and a majority of the information I found was very difficult to understand considering that there is a lot of information that is shown in each article. I used the tools provided by my laptop to narrow down my search by looking for specific terms in each article in order to find the information I needed in order to determine if the article was suitable for my topic. I found myself looking mainly at the references and looking up the ones that were most up to date, and based on what showed up on Google I would decide whether or not to use the article or not. Considering that scholarly articles are very long, and have a lot of information, I decided to skim through them and just read the abstract of each article to determine if I wanted to use it or not. I found two articles, and I think I am going to use those for my major essay two, not only because it talks about the topic I chose, but it provides different information I was not aware of that can strengthen my argument. Majority of the information I found took me by surprise because compared to non-scholarly articles I found most of the information is the same. Whereas a scholarly article had different information, and each article focused on different viewpoints on my topic.
Overall, based on the research I’ve done I know now that I have sufficient information on my topic in order to be prepared for the next major essay. I wouldn’t say I am completely done with research, because as I start working on it I will find myself looking for more information on different sources. But as of right now, I am satisfied with the topic I chose and the information I found by doing research. Not only did I learn new things about my topic, but most importantly I learned the importance of using different sources online to do research. Every site will give me different information, but as long as I look for credibility, and references, and that they are relevant to my topic I will use it for my topic.