7 Tips on Doing Research for Coursework

In 2013, The Slate published a popular article: The End of the College Essay. It’s main point was: students hate essays and professors hate grading them, so why don’t we simply stop assigning them? Good point! Several years later, the college coursework still hasn’t come to its end. You still have to write different projects, and you have to write them well.

Coursework is quite a broad term. It encompasses any academic assignment you have to complete for a particular course. The research process, however, is similar for all projects.

So how do you handle the scary academic research process? If you don’t delegate this work to coursework services, these 7 important tips will help you complete your coursework successfully.

1. Take Your Time

First, start with your mindset. Through the research process, you are going to improve your knowledge. Keep that goal in mind, so you won’t lose your motivation.

When you research with the purpose to learn, you understand that the process will take time. Stay calm. Take your time. Plan how you’ll go through the research process and give yourself a reasonable timeframe. This is the main rule for success: start as early as possible.

2. Identify Your Topic

If, for example, you’re attending a history course, your professor will say that you’re expected to submit an essay about medieval times. “Medieval times” is a general theme, which cannot be taken as a topic. You have to make it more specific. Food Crisis in Medieval London, for example, is a nice way to narrow this down.

Choosing your topic is often the most challenging part of the process. At this point, you may make things easier by conducting a preliminary research. This will be a brief search through online resources, with one sole purpose: finding an interesting angle of the topic.

You’ll certainly find something interesting online. Pick a topic you’re intrigued to learn about! Make sure the topic you choose gives you access to reliable and relevant resources. When you get through this point, the real research may begin.

3. Start the Research

Now, you’re ready to start locating the material on your topic.

  • Start by visiting your school’s library. You’ll be surprised how simpler the research and writing process will be when you find decent books and journals on the topic. You can do a keyword search through the library’s system, so you’ll easily find the materials you need.
  • Online search is still a valid way to locate resources. However, Google won’t be enough. Sure; it will take you to great blog posts that tackle your topic, and those blog posts will take you to other resources. But are those sources relevant? Check the authority of the website and check every single detail you intend to include in your paper.
  • For access to resources of academic authority, use Google Scholar. It will lead you to scientific studies, research projects, and journals that will boost the effect of your research process.

4. The “Light Reading” Stage

During this stage, you’re not reading the sources in detail. Let’s be honest: you can’t read several books and all relevant studies on the subject within the time you have. Just glance through the pages to locate interesting information.

Note down your thoughts. How can you use that information? Write where that information comes from, so you won’t mess up the sources. You’ll have to take these notes all the time, so you’ll know which one to reference when you start writing.

5. The “Focus on Details” Reading Stage

Now that you have your initial notes, it’s time to do the heavy reading. By this point, you probably narrowed down your sources and you picked the ones you are going to use. Read them! Take notes all the time. Through this stage, you’ll get most of your ideas on how to write the coursework project.

If you’re using books, you don’t have to read them entirely. Find the most relevant chapters and read those.

6. Develop an Outline

When you’re done with the research process, you’ll end up with tons of notes and no structure. You might be confused: where do you start and how do you include all these sources in your paper?

Developing an outline is the logical result of a thorough research process. This plan should encompass all your arguments in a structured format. Plan where you’ll use each source of information and how you’ll argue it. Include the reference, so you won’t have trouble with the citations later on.

7. Ask for Help When You Know You Need It

You tried everything and you can’t make it? Maybe the coursework assignment is too challenging, or you simply don’t have time to conduct a thorough research. It’s okay. You just have to recognize the moment when you need help and ask for it.

You may ask your friends if they can help. That’s highly unlikely to happen, since they all have their responsibilities, but try and you might be lucky.

The important thing is to get this done no matter what. Coursework is important, remember? So start the research on time and follow the above-listed tips!


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