Researching: the unexpected (work) benefits of blogging

I loved being a student. I loved thinking about the subjects I was studying and the research and investigatory work I would do to find out about whatever my essay was about. I loved setting aside time between classes or whole days when I didn’t have classes and I was able to camp out in the library and bury myself in books and journals (in the days before everything was online). Even though I was reading textbooks and academic journals I still felt that there was something magical about being able to have access to so much knowledge; gathering the information. That thirst for knowledge has stuck with me.

I love my job. I love teaching – being in the classroom, working with the students, helping them learn and seeing them achieve at the end of the year. However I also still love those moments when I can get my nose in a book, now its usually more for lesson planning and course development rather than actual research but that’s when I realised another benefit of blogging, one I hadn’t thought of. Blogging lets me do research.

As I said above and have said previously, I love books and as a lecturer, I have access to books. I can order inspection copies of books. In fact, as I’ve taken over a unit in employment law I will have a look at some employment law textbooks, looking for the one(s) I’ll use next year. Is it sad that I get excited at the prospect of getting new academic textbooks?

I always get excited when I have the opportunity to acquire new books. Its almost as good as new shoes. 😆

Beyond amassing my own collection of books, I can also ask our LRC (Learning Resource Centre/Library) to order in books for our students – of course I think its cool that I get to use the books too. I get excited when I can be the first to get a book on loan and have the first stamp on the checkout page. Are you getting the impression that I like books?

One of our campuses has a beautiful view of the mountains from the LRC (Learning Resource Centre) windows; its a beautiful place to work. When I used to be based there, I would prefer to set up camp in the LRC and work there rather than in the workroom or my classroom. Its amazing the difference your environment can make to how well you work.

Image shows hills in the background with a road at the foot of the hills with some traffic on it.  A green field is in the foreground
A view over the Ochils – similar to the view from the LRC
This image was taken on my train journey to work

With my passion for seeking out knowledge and researching topics I’d love to be actively engaged in research. However, with my job as a college lecturer (what our friends in the US would call a community college) I don’t have much opportunity to conduct my own research. With that in mind, I must do what I can when the opportunity arises.

I may not engage in my own research but some of our students working at PG Dip (Postgraduate Diploma) level do need to carry out research. Working with a colleague, we share the supervision of these students and I teach them research and project management skills to complete their research projects. Our next cohort starts their unit in June and I’m planning a research skills series on my blog, especially for them.

My blog covers a range of different topics: some are opinion pieces based on my experience, such as this one; others are more factual and require evidence to support the work, thus allowing me to carry out research til my heart’s content. I didn’t expect blogging to fill a gap that existed at work, but I’m loving investigating and researching to find information to share with my readers.

To ensure you don’t miss out on my curiosity taking me off into unknown research areas or if you want to be notified of posts about research methods, sign up to my blog below.


  1. If you really want to do research, write a couple hundred articles in dozens of niches. My mind is cluttered with many random facts I will never need.

    • As Flexner said “[…] throughout the whole history of science most of the really great discoveries which had ultimately proved to be beneficial to mankind had been made by men and women who were driven not by the desire to be useful but merely the desire to satisfy their curiosity.” You know, the “useless” stuff that ultimately can prove to be “useful”! Long live the clutter 🙃

  2. I think it’s great Brenda that you know where your real interests are and that you enjoy the tools you have the opportunity to use! I don’t often have to do research anymore for the type of posts I typically write. I’m okay with that 🙂

  3. Great post as usual. Good that your students are getting gold standard input with your research and energies. I do love that you have found this variable thematic choice for blog inclusions a nice balance. Go to where your heart and passion is strongest and words will always flow with ease. So your triad if learning/the 3 ‘C’s and writing fictional stories all show confidence in application. My nurse buddy Ken and myself had a saying. ‘Gray/Ken….we need to do the 3 ‘C’s. Coffee, chat and charity shops. We’ve not had the time recently, since last year, due to his busy nurse role. I reckon I’ll email him. 😊 All the best Brenda.

  4. Hi Brenda,
    It’s interesting to have a research oriented mindset.
    Research helps to get informed of basic information and concepts directly at the primary level.
    This is different from relying secondary resources.
    Anyways, research is helpful to present our ideas in an orderly and detailed fashion or style.
    Blog posts series on such a theme would be helpful to me, and more readers out here.

  5. Keep sharing, Brenda — your research skills pay off fabulously here — wonderful reading for your blogging friends. Your students are lucky, lucky, lucky! 🥰

  6. Interesting!

    I do love researching as well ☺️

    I generally have a small copy, and I write stuff whenever I find something interesting.

    I have to research a lot for the blogs. Because, I cannot write anything randomly.

    Have you ever tried chat gpt for the research? It’s not much satisfactory, but it give some answers.

    • Hi Devang 😁 Yes, I did check out chat/AI but I had to delete everything; it was so bad. I think it really just highlighted the ideas I already had. If I was really stuck I might, but for now I can’t see me using it. Its like I know many use grammar/spelling software, but I don’t.

  7. You are welcome to leave your thoughts – but please don’t spam with your blog – this would normally mean an automatic delete of your message

  8. Love that you found a way to fill that void in way that you enjoy….and so do your readers! 💞💞💞

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