From the beginning of my paper journey, I have been extremely curious about my topic and the process of research. It has always been very impressive to me that people in many different types of fields could write so deeply about a single topic or question. I hope to publish papers and work in my field one day, and I appreciate that this experience is preparing me for that. I also find it exciting that at the end of this paper, I will have eight or so pages of work and ideas that I have compiled and am proud of.

My topic of investigation is happiness, and more specifically “what makes a person happy?” I chose this topic because I really did not know the answer. Before reading widely, I did not know what could cause such an emotion, or whether or not it was one factor or a mixture of many. Having briefly hearing about some theories before I started, I still couldn’t quite decide what I felt was true. There are some individuals who believe that being happy is something to be consciously chosen, others who think that it is something that some people are more likely to be happy due to how their brains work, and still more people who conclude that happiness is due to a blending of both the previous theories.

Choosing multiple articles, journals, and TED Talks to learn from has made me more informed about my topic, and has helped me narrow my own viewpoint. I started by listening to a very refined and reputable study in the form of a TED Talk by Robert Waldinger. He spoke very passionately and I could tell how excited he is about his findings. This really helped start my research process as I still had some questions after listening to it, and could then find more articles and journals to answer those new thoughts. More recently, I began delving into medical and psychology journals that I found through research databases. The journals have really expanded my thinking about happiness because of all the various data and research that is compiled into one reading. I am able to grow as a writer and a thinker when I have all the information necessary to make my own decision.

Now, I am beginning to plan out my paper and decide what information I want to use to backup my point, and what information has gaps/which arguments are not strong. At the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure how my paper would all come together, but I know now that I have found a lot of amazing information and theories from scientists and authors who are also interested in why some people are happier than others. I am prepared to start connected everything together with the research I have found, and with new bits of knowledge that I have yet to uncover.

TED Talk by Robert Waldinger



1 Comment
  1. Adrian 4 years ago

    Hey Raywa, your idea for your research paper sounds very interesting. I also have been interested in knowing what causes happiness in people’s lives and why some people are happier in certain circumstances. Maybe you could also research what causes emotions and the purpose of having emotions and even how different emotion differ in being created and expressed. Good Luck!

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