Writing an informative paper requires from a student to do the research into the problem. The article provides you with a handy guide to the stages of the research process. It outlines the basic rules of how to go through this time-consuming task. The mentioned steps can be rearranged whenever you have a need to adjust the following plan to your own experience and attitude.
Rules of How to Go Through This Time-Consuming Task
Step 1: Think of the Concrete Topic for Your Writing
Deciding on the subject for a paper is one of the most daunting tasks for students. It is important to take the first step correctly and select an appropriate theme. Here are some ideas of how to do it:
- Read carefully the assignment outline and opt for a subject within the limits of it. Consult your choice with your professor and you’ll get to know more about the direction you should move in. Just imagine devoting some time to composing a couple of chapters of your paper and then get to know that the theme is irrelevant.
- Pay attention to the topics which light a sparkle of interest in you, so that you’ll be curious to find out some more information about it. Nobody can guarantee that the research process will be easy, but at least there will be a chance you’ll derive pleasure from it.
- Be realistic about the topic you choose. Analyze whether there is enough material to be covered and whether you can really accomplish a comprehensive investigation on it. Sometimes, the amount of information is countless but it doesn’t mean all of it could serve your needs. Do not get off the track if there are too many sources to be used, narrow your topic. On the contrary, if the selected topic is not enough developed in scientific works or books, you’ll need to extend it.
- Try to apply all your creative powers to compose something catching. Your professor may read dozens of papers a day, so make your piece of writing stand out. Do not be indifferent and show your point of view, not just plain data on a subject.
- If you are sure about a theme of writing then try to rephrase it as a question. That will make keywords and concepts more obvious for you.
Step 2: Preliminary Exploration is Essential
Once you have found a suitable topic, look for the available sources of information to conduct the research. Get to know about the existing publications, articles or some other words of leading authorities in the field. Brainstorm a theme and determine all the possible keywords. You can use the gathered information to ask for appropriate books in a library. Be careful to flick through periodical databases and catalogs and hit truly valuable sources. Well, obviously, you can encounter something worthy on the Internet too. Additionally, use notes made during lectures and textbooks. After you have completed this step, adapt it according to the accessible references.
Step 3: Discover and Process Materials
Now, when you know the outlines of your research, it is a high time to locate the chosen materials. Here is a list of tips on the ways you can get some worthy information:
- Alephcatalog. It is an integrated library, which provides a user with handy tools to find the needed sources. The system can use either a keyword or a subject to do a search. When you take a citation, you should write down the collection, the call number, the title and the author’s name. Do not forget to pay attention to the status of circulation. You may also find some audio-visual resources with the help of indexes. Moreover, there is a chance to track down all the recent or long-time publications in magazines and newspapers.
- In any case, you should better consult somebody at the Reference Desk to lead the research the most effectively and not to waste time. Based on what you need, a librarian can advise you about the databases to use.
- To add to that, there are some other search engines to be of practical value, for example, Yahoo, NHCC Library and Librarian’s Guide.
Step 4: Examine the Sources you Go for
CARS Checklist for Information Quality may serve you as the guidance in locating the information you need. Evaluate whether it is authoritative in the scientific world and examine its quality. You ought to present to your readers credible, authentic and verifiable facts.
Step 5: Write Down Brief Records
In the course of the research, you should make notes on the ideas, which come to your mind, on summaries you make and on the comments to the texts, which you read. Document all the resources and evaluate whether they fit your paper. You have to mention the title, author, URL and other appropriate details.
To sum up, now you are ready to overlook a great number of sources and figure out the ones, which can serve the purpose of your writing. The next thing is to organize the books and articles, which you have selected. Complete the draft and work out the main part of the paper polishing the statements and strengthening argumentation. Take account of how you cite authors, as far as you need to analyze a quotation and format it in APA or MLA style. The last step is proofreading. Edit your written piece checking grammar, spelling and punctuation. We hope all these tips will come in very handy and undertaking the research will be a successful experience for you!