Research Paper Tips #1

Contrary to popular belief, your research paper should not be just pages and pages of facts.  Otherwise, we could just get that information from the internet on our own.  What we actually need is for you to interpret those facts for us.

Research Papers-More Than Just Data: Imagine you’re an actual research scientist doing cutting-edge research and the sources you’re using are actually bits of information you just discovered that no one has ever seen before.  You’re not going to focus on the boring stuff we all know; you’re going to look at all the new and exciting stuff that you’ve discovered and connect it all together to tell us what it means.  Tell us what’s important about the issue.  Focus on what is special.  Don’t just explain how something works.  Tell us why it matters, or how it is different, or how it can change the world. If it helps, think of your paper as an article in a science magazine; you want your paper to be interesting to your readers or they won’t want to read it.

Make It Easy On Yourself: If you choose a topic that you are actually interested in, the paper will be more enjoyable to research and write.  Look at the research first, and then make a thesis out of what you find most interesting about your topic.  Chances are, if it interests you, it will interest your reader too.  Don’t try to come up with your main points first and then look for research to support your ideas second; this is much harder to do than going the other way around.

Keep It Focused And Specific: A word about the scope of your paper:  don’t try to tackle an issue that is too big.  If you only have a few pages to work with, you don’t want to try to explain the entire history of the world or talk about every dinosaur that ever existed. Maybe focus on one dinosaur and what made it special.  The wider your scope, the greater the number of pages you will need to cover it!

SDA Writing Lab-Now With Wednesdays!

Hello, SDA!

The Writing Lab is now open three days a week!

Our hours are 9 am-3:45 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Make an appointment to get feedback on college essays, research papers, English essays, and whatever other writing you want to bring to us.

Thanks very much, SDA.  See you in the Lab!

-Kelly