How to Research an Essay
The detailed and thorough research work is the basis for the perfect essay. If you have no idea of what to write about, there is no sense in starting an essay - this is a waste of time and energy. If you are not interested in the subject of your task, the researching is going to be tough, but there are always ways to take another look on every subject.
Sometimes, the investigations conducted for the assignment can reveal the sides of the issue you could never have guessed about. Your research can be a starting point for your scientific career even; there is no saying. Not to lose a minute, let us proceed to the main steps required for the research process which will lead to the qualitative essay.
All you Need it Time
You have to be ready for the fact, that none essay is written during an hour. It will take you several hours unless days. When your target is "A" mark and a very qualitative paperwork which would stick to the memory of your teacher, you have to be ready to devote much time to work. Depends on the educational establishment, your knowledge of the subject and requirements for the essay, the time needed for its writing is going to be different. Even if a subject is familiar to you, some extra time would be useful. When you have more time, you won't be in a hurry and will meat a deadline.
The research of an essay consists of the following major steps:
1. Determination of the information needed;
2. Formulation of a query when using the internet or a library;
3. Finding the resources, which contain the information relating to the query;
4. Making notes and retrieval system;
5. Acknowledgment and analyzing the acquired information.
Grip the Task
Before you define what information is needed for your assignment, you need to completely understand the task you have been given. The right direction of research is being set by the comprehension of what you are going to write about. Should you understand the task wrong, you risk of being appeared in the wrong field of science. The sad result to the misunderstanding of the task will be like this:
- you write about different things, argue on a different matter and talk about different phenomena;
- the time is lost;
- the mark is low;
- your reputation is failed.
To avoid all these negative factors, read carefully the task. Do not miss the keywords, like "compare", "argue", "discuss". These words are going to show you the right direction for research. As soon as you catch the task, you will be able to determine what kind of information you need to find.
Thought Research Process
This step can have a name of brainstorming. It won't take you much time, but you will be able to make your first draft of the future assignment. As soon as you have gripped the task, it's a good time for considering what you already know about it. Write down the arguments you have had in mind after reading the task.
The brainstorming will help you realize what information is needed to fill the gap in your knowledge, to develop the available ideas and to add more supportive details. Omitting the thought process can cause the mess in your mind because without a clear apprehension of what you are going to write about, you won't be able to separate the irrelevant information from the needed one.
Only when you take time and think thoroughly about the issue, you will create an adequate query, select the proper resources of information, find the right arguments for your work and develop your own ideas with the help of valid and adequate data.
Insight with the Topic
Quite often the basic knowledge can be not enough for creating a qualitative work. In these situations, the detailed research is needed. When brainstorming have brought only a few ideas, but you realize what query to make, the detailed research of the matter will help you. It is understandable, that it is impossible to capture the subject and you should leave hopes to become familiar with it right away.
If you hope, that only one book will give you all the information needed for the essay, you are mistaken. Of course, you will catch some facts, but they will be cursory. Do not conduct shallow research, because when you are asked to compare something in your essay, a cursory glance at the subject won't be enough.
When you need to support your background knowledge, you can apply for the online search engines, another Internet sources or specialized libraries which will give you the summarized information on the topic. When you gather more extra data, you can enlarge and develop your writing.
A Reading List
If your tutor has given you a reading list, it can help you a lot. When you have no clue what source of information to use, a reading list is going to provide you with some useful references. And even when you are confident in your reading skills and abilities to search for the right information on your own, the list of recommended literature would be helpful.
In most situations, the reading list is the sufficient provider of sources of information needed for essay writing. You are advised to look through all books, articles, and works recommended by the reading list. You should start from the ones which provide with the general information on the matter and end up with the more detailed sources. In this manner, you will organize your thoughts and develop the correct structure of your arguments. But do not try to read the book from cover to cover. Instead, scan the headings and read relevant chapters only.
Do not use only one source from the reading list or only one author. You should compare, analyze and make your own conclusions. You should not rely only on one study conducted by someone else.
When reading the articles or chapters which relate to the topic of your essay, make some notes. If necessary you can rewrite the whole paragraph, but be selective and do not copy the chapters completely. The primary goal of your notes is structuring the information you find. Write down only facts and data relevant to your issue.
Some people make too many notes just in case and hope that they could be useful. But in 90% from 100% these extra notes are not needed. Should you have a feeling, that some information could be used, but you are not confident in, do not write it down. Once you have read it, your brains have already remembered it. You can believe it. Do not waste your time making unnecessary notes.
When making notes, write down the source you have taken them from. In your essay, you will obligatory have to mention the sources of information you used. The reader has to be provided with the possibility to find in the original source the data which he has read in your work. Should you fail to make references to the original sources, you could be blamed in plagiarism.
Arranging the notes
Without arranging the information you have gathered, a complete disorder is going to expect on you. It is a good and useful step in research of your essay, especially, when you have a huge amount of information which is new to you. The ability to have a visual sequence of facts makes the creation of the assignment easier and faster. When you work on the computer you can create folders so you can find the info related to every chapter of your study.
The number of the folders can vary. When you make many small ones, you can check them faster, but when you create only several big ones the time for checking would be more, but you will cover more information at a time. Examining the folder by folder you will analyze the data once again and be able to concentrate only on the most important facts. Having done that, you would automatically have the first draft of your essay.