An Academic Goes Shopping – Empirical Research or Indecision?

Research and reflection are everything in academia……


The overall aim is to purchase a coat
A coat that’ll make in impact
An original, significant coat which will
Contribute to life, which in fact
Will give rise to discussion, to further debate
On the merits of all outerwear
Perhaps the empirical research can start
By observing the one over there
The researcher’s size twelve, though the data suggest
That sizes are up for debate
Some department stores call a sixteen a twelve
Despite all the rubbish one ate
On the contrary other stores on the high street
Would suggest that above size zero
Smacks of plumpness, unhealthy obsession with food
So the size depends on where you go.
Since you asked who I’m looking for this item for
It’s the person who’s standing right here
The researcher, she’s called, it’s a third person thing
Can’t say ‘me’. That’d make things too clear.
You ask about colour. The whole area’s huge
As several factors play a part
Like complexion, hair colour and other clothing
Current trends, and how casual or smart
The owner proposes or wishes to be
And where they will wear said attire
And whether the item is only dry clean
Or is washed and put into the drier.
And material? Warm but not so warm it’s hot
And natural but washable too
Although wool might be better, it’s quite hard to know
There’s some further fact finding to do.
What’s it for? It’s to wear. Well that’s rather simple
A coat is much more than just that
Again, it is complex, its more than it is
One could say the same thing of a hat
And speaking of hats, is there further research
To be done on the correlation
Between wearing some coats and the purchase of hats
Maybe shoes too – a rich combination.
All the qualitative data, as far as it goes
Is good, but a clear need for stats
Is emerging, now deeper analysis starts
Not only on coats, but on hats
So far then, the questions emerging from this
Are far reaching and must be addressed
For the purpose of this project though, shoes are out
To contain this research will be best.
Of course there are gender issues to discuss
And it may be that these are quite key
To discovering what drives decisions to buy
Outer garments- will he or will she
Have criteria driving such purchases so
That decisions are informed by these?
Or is it unreasonable to hypothesise
That most women are harder to please?
Please don’t suggest options. This is premature
I could not justify or defend
Any choice I might make at this stage of
the game
It would be ill informed and would send
The wrong messages to researchers like myself
This researcher must sit down with tea
And think this thing through…. but what tea should be drunk?
It’s complex, the tea thing. Let’s see……

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