Strategies to Reanimate Your Research

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Tired of feeling like a research zombie, endlessly wandering through the same old processes? It’s time to break free from the academic graveyard and infuse some life into your research journey. 

This post won’t feature your run-of-the-mill approaches to research; they’re designed to make your research experience more engaging, effective, and even more enjoyable (gasp!). So, let’s arm ourselves with a few new tactics to help us navigate the maze of research that is DOA.

Zombie with books
“Zombie with books” prompt, Adobe Firefly, 14 Nov. 2023,

Survival Kit: Choose Your Weapons Wisely

Just like a survivor needs the right tools to fend off zombies, a researcher needs the right resources. Before diving into your research, arm yourself with reliable databases, credible sources, and academic journals. The right weapons (or in this case, sources) can make all the difference in your quest for knowledge. The Elmer E. Rasmuson Library is the perfect place to start.

Group Up: Form a Research Squad

Zombies are less daunting when faced with a team. Similarly, forming a study group or research squad can breathe new life into your research. Collaborate with peers to brainstorm ideas, share insights, and even divide the workload. Battling research challenges together can bring a fresh perspective to your approach. 

Survive and Thrive: Unleashing AI for Research Inspiration

Just as survivors arm themselves for success, researchers can supercharge their work with AI. Using AI tools for brainstorming research topics can help students sift through vast data, sparking fresh ideas. NOTE: Cite AI-generated contributions, and check your instructor’s stance on AI before using it in their course. Using AI to cheat is considered academic dishonesty; zombies find that delectable. Read more in Using AI as a Student.

Decode the Map: Visualization is Key

Just as deciphering maps helps survivors navigate the undead-infested world, decoding complex data through visualization helps researchers comprehend intricate information. Graphs, charts, and infographics can transform dull data into a clear and compelling narrative that’s easy to understand.

Unite for a Cure: Become a Citizen Scientist

Just as survivors join forces to find a cure for the zombie virus, you can contribute to real-world solutions as a citizen scientist. Engage in projects that invite public participation in scientific research. Join online initiatives, submit observations, and be part of a global effort to address pressing issues. Contact the Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Activity (URSA) office for more information on how you can get involved at UAF.

Escape the Dead Zone: Expand Your Horizons

Escaping the clutches of a zombie-infested area mirrors breaking free from a narrow research focus. Venture beyond your comfort zone; explore related disciplines and theories, or what folks on the other side of your argument might say. You might stumble upon connections that breathe life into your study.

Evasive Maneuvers: Navigate Research Challenges

Just as survivors evade zombies, researchers navigate challenges. When faced with a stumbling block, approach it from different angles. If one method doesn’t yield results, pivot and try another. Flexibility in your approach can save you from getting stuck in the undead horde of data.

Just as survivors adapt to the ever-changing landscape of a post-apocalyptic world, adaptable researchers thrive by embracing new methods and perspectives. The key lies in challenging the mundane, seeking uncharted paths, and staying open to unconventional ideas. 

In the world of research, just as in the fight against zombies, your determination to adapt, innovate, and explore uncharted territories will not only reanimate your research but also set you on a path toward discovery, enlightenment, and academic excellence.


  • Casie Cameron

    Instructional Designer
    Casie Cameron is a designer, teacher, and writer with more than 15 years of experience working in education at the K-12 and post secondary levels. As an Instructional Designer with eCampus, Cameron gravitates towards creating courses influenced by pedagogies of equity and inclusion. She is interested in using digital spaces to build learning-communities in innovative, technologically responsive ways, and feels recharged by designing graphics, 3D animations, and by tinkering with and thinking about website user experience.

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