College life is lots of fun but the one thing you can never escape is the huge amount of essays you will need to submit. These can be time-consuming and often put you under a lot of pressure. Writing the essay is actually the easy part. What is difficult and time-consuming is doing all the research. Fortunately, the internet has made research much easier but it still a challenge.
Research is a vital step in the process of essay writing and the quality of your research will determine the quality of the essay. Good preparation will also mean that the writing is much faster and easier.
Your first step is to have a clearly defined and well thought-out topic. Doing this will require some initial research and probably point you to some material you might already be familiar with. Once you are clear on your topic, the research can begin.
Here are 5 tips on how you can research for an essay.
1. Plan your research:
Don’t just jump right in and start researching. Start with a good understating of the topic and the subject. Use a dictionary and encyclopedias to get a solid grounding. Many times, your essay will include a reading list.
Get a list of sources together and even speak to a librarian or look through the library catalog for ideas. An online search will give you many resources. Remember, you will not have time to read everything on the subject so you will have to be selective. Plan your time for research and allocate time per source.
Keep a record of all the material you use for research as you will need it later.
2. Use the power of the internet:
The fastest way to get a large amount of research is off the internet. There is an art to good searching so make sure you know all the top tips and tricks on the search engines. Again, make notes of all the sites that you used for later reference.
Make sure that the source is legitimate and credible as not everything you will read on the internet is correct. Check and double check all facts.
3. Make a list and start reading:
Once you have details of all the material you will use for research you will have to systematically work through it. It will require a large amount of reading so take notes as you go. You need to identify parts of the material that is not relevant to your essay so that you can quickly skip over them. Work according to your time budget.
If you find that you just do not have enough time to complete it, you might just say “I need someone to do my essay”. Fortunately, there are people that can help you with that.
If you are going to do the essay yourself, continue with the research.
4. Evaluate the information:
Not all of the information you will have read during your research will be relevant to your essay. Probably much of it will need to be excluded. You will need to carefully evaluate all of the data and information to determine the important and relevant aspects. Here your notes will be very important.
Starting organizing all the information that you want to use for your essay to see if there are any parts missing or incomplete. Study the relevant information again. It should be a bit faster now as you are familiar with it and only reading the relevant parts. Discard anything not important or specifically relevant to the topic of your essay.
This is a good time to create a detailed plan of your essay outline.
5. Research further:
Now that you have evaluated the research and worked out what is important, you will be able to identify any gaps or areas that might require additional research. This is not a major task as you will have most of the required information. You will also have a good idea where you can find more details on the points that require additional research.
You will find that if you follow these steps, the research will go more smoothly and a bit faster. Once you have done good quality research it will be easier to produce a great essay.