The secret to attaining high scores and grades in your assignments is administering thorough research on the topic in question. It helps you grasp and understand it, arming you with the right knowledge to write on the subject. “Steps on How to Research a Topic” is a guide that will help you learn to conduct research and the essentials you need to have successful research.
What is Research?
Research is a meticulous investigation into and studying materials and sources to verify facts and reach new conclusions. The research involves two scientific methods, namely;
- Inductive Methods They are used in analysis of an observed event in qualitative research.
- Deductive methods. Used in verifying the observed event. It is associated with quantitative research.
Information can be researched in different ways, online or offline, due to various reasons. Some reasons include trying to validate sources, gathering data and information, or bibliography creation. Whichever the reason or used method, the Steps on How to Research a Topic below will help you in researching any information.
Steps on How to Research a Topic
The research process needs one to have and utilize specific research skills. With the skills in hand, you can use the guide below for a good topic.
1. Choose a Topic
The first step to any research is picking a topic you are sure you want to cover. The following are tips to guide you in choosing a topic.
- Work within the set of instructions given. Following the parameters given to you will help you have a better score. In case the given guidelines to not confine you, adopting a five-paragraph essay format is a sure bet.
- Pick a Topic You Like. Having an interest in the research topic is a mood and productivity booster. The passion will drive you into in-depth digging that will reflect quality on your research paper resulting in good grades.
- Use the question tactic While conducting research, asking yourself questions helps in being thorough. Usually, you will find the questions in the field experts’ discussions, talks, and interviews. The five questions you should ask must answer who, what, where, when, and why. If you chose to research the icecream preferences of American Kids during summer, you have answered all the questions.
2. What Number of Sources Do You Have?
The best strategy is choosing a topic with prior comprehensive discussions and writing. It means that you will have identified sources that would be scientifically backed. It will allow you to make more statements in your paper, depending on its length. An essay needs 3- 7 sources, while a dissertation would need up to hundreds of sources.
Do not be overly enthusiastic about the first interesting thing you come across during your research. Broadening your research further will surprisingly bring about fascinating information you would have otherwise missed. It will help you understand the topic better. Always get more than enough information on the topic under research. Start by simple searches on search engines using terms and phrases related to the topic. After that, dig deeper into books and scientific journals referenced on the materials you find.
Credibility of sources is vital when writing an academic paper. During the research, you may find publications whose credibility you doubt. Articles and blogs may seem to have authority but don’t. On the internet, most people will post opinions to either make money or push some agenda. Avoid them.
- Assess the information gathered. A simple way to notice a propaganda article and an opinion is checking for the tone used. Biased sources have an advertising tone like they are trying to sell something. Also, check who the author is and cross-check the content with other sources.
- Use the correct keywords in search engines. Keyword example: (Steps on How to Research a Topic). When looking through the internet for sources, knowing what words to feed into the search engine is the deal maker. Use words related to the topic and use an academic tone to get results with academic backing. Double-check on the content before you start writing the paper. If your source has citations, be sure to check them out, as people are prone to misinterpreting information.
During the research, organizing and making notes on your findings will help you have an easy time structuring your paper. Take note of the authors and other important points. Save pdf files, slides, and write down summaries of your sources. Save link to websites and summarise the contents to help you remember why you saved the link. It will help you have a reference to things you may have forgotten. Saving you a lot of time. You will also have an easier time supporting your argument with the readily available facts.
The data you will collect will be a lot. After analyzing it, arrange it in the research format paper you will be using. Formulate your thesis statement(a conclusive statement that explains what you are writing about) based on the data. Seclude the data that addresses the statement and use it as your supporting argument. For each argument you make, support it with at least two credible references. Conclude by rephrasing your thesis statement in a final attempt to argue your stance. Make your comment on the results and a call-to-action.
Ensure to check on the relevance and truthfulness of your data. If you find that somethings are a miss, do not choose sides. It could be the wrong side. Avoid the temptation and ensure what you are writing down is true. If need maybe, you will have to go back to the drawing board if the data conflicts too much.
Technology has revolutionized research. You no longer need to visit a physical library and pen down everything important. Even so, scraping multiple websites for relevant content, verifying it, and taking the relevant information can be tedious too. With a few research tools, you can avoid the long processes and make the already tedious process a bit simpler. Below are a few of the many available essential research tools you can adopt when conducting a research online.
elink makes the task of preserving content simpler. When conducting research, it saves all your links, cloud files, videos, and more on one platform, making it simpler to reach and share. With the help of a chrome extension, you can easily save links to your content library. Also, share the links as newsletters.
2. Google Scholar
Google scholar is a one-stop-shop for education material. You can broadly go through journals, books, abstracts, thesis, repositories, universities, and other academic publications. It enables you to have a look at related work with regular updates in the area of research. It is easy to use and gives you access to the whole google database. You can also build a public scholar page that monitors anyone who cites your work.
Endnotes help a researcher organize catalogs and seeking for citations. You can easily import your references, and the system does the job. Share your work with your crew and trace the progress. You can also automatically reference and update links. It does not require you to install anything.
Researchgate grants you reach to over 135 million writing pages. You get recent information in your area. You can share and cooperate with other authors. It also tracks and informs you of anyone citing your work.
Nothing can be as boring as paywalls preventing you from accessing a whole text. DeepDyve assists you in accessing the full texts of an abstract free of charge. It helps you make an informed decision on whether to spend money to obtain the paper.
In order to implement Steps on How to Research a Topic, the best way to get around research is by putting in work and practicing. You develop your research skills and get the confidence to figure false information or personal opinion. Such skills will be important when tackling academic papers in university.
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