Writing A University Research Paper: 10 Effective Tips
Now that you are at university you will probably find that the bar has most definitely been raised, and that the research papers that you used to submit in high school simply don’t make the grade any more. You need to understand that everything that you have done before is simply practice for the research that you are going to conduct. The foundations that you need should be well and truly in place. It is simply a case now of ensuring that you have the tools that you need at your disposal. Here are 10 effective tips:
- Don’t underestimate the amount of time that is required
- Make your research count
- Pick a topic that interests you
- Block out your friends
- Focus on getting an initial draft done
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Cut the socializing down
- Reward yourself
- Check your sources
Far too many students that I know think that this is going to be a breeze. They think they can nail it in a fraction of the time that is actually required. However, getting the job done is simply not going to cut it. You need to go that extra mile and the best way of doing that is to start as early as possible.
Okay, so that may be easier said than done and of course, you are unlikely to change the world with your research paper. However, it is incredibly important that you at least gain something from it.
Don’t fall into the trap of doing a paper just for the kudos that you think it is going to bring you. Of course, you have to do a paper, just make sure that it is on a subject that interests you.
Again, this is easier said than done, but too many people allow themselves to be influenced by what their peers are doing that they end up with sheep mentality. Your paper is unique to you. Never forget that!
Your first draft doesn’t have to be word perfect, but it should follow a basic structure. Yes, you will need to flesh out bits and pieces as you go along. However, having that initial draft will give you the peace of mind that you need.
Researching and writing your paper doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. While I would be careful of asking your friends for too much input. Help can be found in other places. Your tutor, for one should be more than happy to assist.
Of course, you are going to want to spend some time partying with your friends. However, at some stage you need to knuckle down to the realities of why you are at university. The primary reason is to study! Save the partying for when you are done!
The power of rewarding yourself is not to be underestimated. Whether you choose to do this by way of a pizza at the end of a hard week or wait until after your paper has been completed is entirely up to you. The key is in doing it.
Checking that your sources are accurate should be a no-brainer. Don’t just take them at face value. Do a little digging.
Don’t be afraid of revisiting and reworking your paper until it is 100% right. Hard work will always pay off in the end.