I'm not sure how I ever came up with a research project in my first MA. It seemed like the idea was just always there, and maybe I'd discussed it enough along the way that it felt pretty fully-formed when I came time to write about it. Right now I'm having the opposite problem. Perhaps moving from one field (English) to another (Information? Library Science? What field am I in, anyways?) is what's holding me up, or perhaps I just lucked out the first time around. In any event, I'm now dealing with a fear that I have an interest (or interests), but they are too vague to make into a research proposal of any kind because I simply don't know enough. (I guess I should be "reviewing the literature" as Luker suggests in Chapter 5, but we've got that paper due and then a presentation next week and it all seems like it's mounting up already. How did this happen?)
It sounds like Laura and Alisha are having similar problems. Knight's assertion that all small-scale research must be "super-pragmatic" (48) has me slightly paralyzed because of the scope of the problems to be tackled. I'm working out, per Luker's exercises, what these problems (ie. what might research question) might be. At the moment I'm trying to tease out two potential topics to see which takes me further. Hopefully by next week I'll be able to write about one, but so far they are too jumbled for me to feel comfortable making public.
Is anyone else who has taken a few years off school finding the transition slightly bumpy? I feel like I've forgotten some secret way of thinking that used to be second nature.