As You Research Your Paper Topic, Analyze The Arguments
A great way to get ahead on writing your research paper is to not only research what others have already written about your topic but to also analyze their arguments and opinions. This gives you a lot more material to write about and will also help you to build your own opinions about the topic. You will be able to assimilate some ideas which you read about, but you will also be able to refute some of those ideas with your own opinions. Of course, you will have to have something to back these ideas up!
If you analyze the arguments of others you will better be able to understand your topic and you will also be absorbing some ideas about how to talk about your topic based on what others are interested in. if you are writing about something which you find to be a difficult topic then really understanding the ideas of others may help give you some insight into how to go about writing your research paper.
While you research you will need to be an active reader. This means that you will not be reading just for the sake of soaking up knowledge, you will be reading, notating, and brain storming throughout the research process.
Some things you might want to have handy while doing research are a pen, a notebook, sticky pad, and a ton of caffeine (but I am sure you already had the last item with you). Here are some tips for what you should do as you are reading and researching:
- Write down important facts or thoughts
- Tab pages in books where you have made notes
- Use sticky notes to remind yourself of new articles or documents to read
- Write down any ideas you have on a clean page in your notebook
Following these simple ideas will help you to remain focused and organized while you are researching.
There is no purpose to reading several documents for your research if you are not accurately keeping the important information somewhere. It is nearly impossible for you to remember every pertinent point or tidbit of information which you have ever read. I suggest keeping your own thoughts and new ideas separate from your notes so that you do not confuse or intertwine them later on when you begin the process of writing your research paper. Keeping a log of new documents to read will help you stay focused as well.