Preparing for an essay is not a simple thing to do. The actual writing process is the simplest part of the task since you already have the data to include and the outline to follow. When it comes to paper writing, the most important and at the same hardest task is to conduct an effective research.
This guide is filled with tips that will help you conduct the research for your essay.
Plan Your Time
Many students believe that they should only plan the time they spend on writing the essay. They are wrong. Planning the time for the research is equally important. Make sure you give yourself enough time to do the research since this is the part that should never be rushed.
Understand the Research Question
Your professor has surely given you guidelines to follow. Read them carefully and understand what the research question asks you to do. Before you even start researching, you need to know which direction to follow with the research.
Sit down and map your ideas. Write down the things you already know, and brainstorm the ideas for the writing part. This should help you acquire some understanding on the topic before you get into it.
Make a Reading List
If you haven’t already been given a reading list to base your essay on, make one. Gather reliable and up-to-date sources from the library, the Web, and school materials.
When creating your reading list, you may find it helpful to use the table of contents of a similar essay or book.
Take notes during your research, and make sure to note down important information such as source, date, page number, etc.
Research Each Side of Your Argument
Your essay should prove an argument, but also refer to other opinions and sides of it. In order to create a balance in your essay, you must know everything there is to know about the different perspectives on your topic. This should help you find the best way to argue your idea.
Have a Dictionary to Hand
Don’t allow yourself to misunderstand a source – this can cause you to make a mistake in your essay. Keep a dictionary nearby and check words and phrases you don’t fully understand.
This is also very beneficial for your personal development. Checking unfamiliar wording is great for growing your vocabulary.
Carefully Choose Online Sources
Make sure to stay away from the unreliable sources on the Web. If you want to perform a good research, you must use good sources only.
Sources like Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, which makes them a bad reference for your essays.
When you are done researching for your essay, you can organize the data you found in an outline. This outline will help you present that information in a coherent and appealing way.