When beginning to write a feature article, I wasn’t fully aware of what this task involved. I knew that I should have a topic that interests me, but like so many others, I did not really know what this meant. I know I have interests, but drawing upon them in a way that allows me to conduct research seemed like such a broad place to start. Thankfully, I was given a heuristic as a guide through discovering what I should research. Once I completed this process, it was made very clear to me that focusing on sibling relationships was my clear choice for a topic. I began my research process by writing a proposal, which essentially outlines what I originally thought on the topic of sibling relationships and how I wanted to expand my knowledge through research. Originally, I developed a very narrow topic for research, which was “what factors influence sibling relationships and how do these relationships affect a person’s personality and behavior.” I began with the idea of wanting to know how childhood relationships with a sibling affected people as an adult. As I started doing research, I developed an annotated bibliography which helped me to organize the sources I found. Through this initial research, I realized that the topic of sibling relationships at any stage of life is still fairly new, meaning that the only research I did find was comprised of hypotheses which are not yet scientifically proven. For this reason, I knew that my original subject was too difficult of a challenge to pursue; therefore, I broadened my topic so that I researched what factors affect sibling relationships and how great is this influence. This more general topic provided me with much more success in my research. Apart from the research itself, writing a feature article also calls for information gathered through an interview. Because of the nature of my topic, being able to apply what I learned through research to life is extremely important since there is no other way to validate my findings at the moment. I spoke with a close personal friend of mine, and my interview with him seemed to support most, if not all, of what I found through my research. As a result of this process, I was able to create a feature article that presented this information that way I wanted both in terms of content and design.
This process was new to me, so I was provided with an experience filled with learning. Regarding my topic, I learned that the same factors that can strengthen a relationship can also destroy it. So far, the only aspects of the relationship among siblings that have been explored are age differences in gender. Since any type of relationship is affected by age and sex, it makes sense that these two areas are the most explored. However, with the introduction of a sibling, factors like birth order and biological relation also come into play, which makes these interpersonal connections more complex than other friendly relationships. Additionally, I also learned about the researching process, specifically for the digital world. The possibilities are endless when you have access to the internet, so beginning with a useable subject is crucial. Even after coming up with my topic when completing the heuristic and developing my path for research in my proposal, it wasn’t until I did my annotated bibliography that I realized that my topic needed to be tweaked. As a result of this, I am aware of what makes a good research topic in the future.
Throughout this process, there were several steps I took which greatly influenced the overall outcome of my feature article. The annotated bibliography allowed me to see that my original topic was not suitable for the task at hand, and I was able to make necessary adjustments accordingly. By completing a rough draft of both the content and the design pieces, I was able to take my preliminary drafts of my feature article through several rounds of revision. In my class, we were also divided into editorial groups, which consisted of the same five people who were able to provide feedback throughout the writing process. Participating in these discussions allowed me to received enough feedback to undergo substantive revisions, and I was able to produce the best feature article possible. The entirety of the process I completed as I created my feature article allowed me to understand both my topic and the steps necessary to become a digital researcher. As a result of these steps, I have definitely gained more confidence in my researching skills and my feature article writing skills. At the completion of this assignment, I am proud of the work I have created; therefore, I have provided a link to my completed feature article, which can be accessed by clicking the link below. Thank you for embarking on this journey with me!