This post by Dr Jennie Billot first appeared here on Thesislink in 2012
Wisker, Robinson and Shacham, (2007) suggest that “All research is a dialogue with others” (p. 304) and that can mean a number of things.
First, exchanging ideas with other students and supervisors gives you the opportunity to brainstorm, as well as share and adapt other models of study. Second, by engaging (in a dialogue) with the literature, you can identify why your research is significant and how it can contribute to knowledge. Communicating your ideas helps you to clarify and articulate the purpose of your study and critique your own work through debate.
Having conversations with other researchers can be done face-to-face or online (such as on Thesislink!!). It is very likely that there are others who have faced challenges and solved similar problems to yours. Even better- you can develop relationships that support you through your research journey and into life after you have finished.
If you are involved in qualitative research check out this blog: http://qrconversations.blogspot.co.nz/