Whether you like it or not, prior research is essential in doing an essay. Through this, you can look for topics that interest you and get more information about your chosen subject. Moreover, it allows you to formulate a thesis statement and gather proof to support it. You can also find essays online that you can use as a reference to your work.
Despite knowing how crucial this step is, some students prefer to skip this. They choose to start and write based on their current knowledge. Even if this task seems tedious, you must prioritize researching books or online resources. It will help you have a deeper understanding and analysis of your topic and produce a high-quality output. Below are some tips on researching for an essay writing task.
Dedicate Enough Time
Good things take time. This idea can be applied in both research and writing. Some students put off their tasks because they think that they can make an excellent output at the last minute. However, time management is a crucial factor in this activity. Because you will go through several steps, you have to schedule each step, especially in researching. It would be best to start as early as possible to avoid cramming, leading to a poor-quality output.
For this task, you need to consider how much you already know about the topic. If it is new to you, you may have to spend more time doing some reading. Make sure that before you start drafting, you are already familiar with the basics. Besides that, you should have a deep understanding of the subject to formulate an interesting thesis statement.
Find Background Information about Your Subject
Through the internet, it has become easier for everyone to acquire information about everything under the sun. Moreover, it has provided an avenue to research without going to a physical library to browse some books. Now, you can type in some words on the search engine bar. In a few seconds, you will see several websites that will lead you to the information you need. As a student, you should maximize all the available online resources.
As mentioned previously, you need to read background information about the subject first. If you encounter new words, names, or concepts, you should immediately look for their definition. It will help you understand and relate to the following parts of what you are reading. Also, you can search for essays that are relevant to your topic and read them afterward. As you do this, you might gain more insights or develop counterarguments about their claims. However, you must not use their work and claim it as you own. Lastly, it would help if you watch documentaries or informative videos online. Some people find watching videos more effective in absorbing new information.
Take Some Notes
Your mind can remember so much information but not all. It is why students are asked to take notes and why servers carry small pads while taking orders. If you put these in mind, you will value note-taking. It is much easier to recall information you have written than remember something you have read or memorized. Whether you like it or not, there is a high chance that you will forget it. Because you already have many things in mind, you should use strategies to make your research process more convenient.
To do this effectively, you can jot down short notes on paper or type in your digital notebook. Whichever method you choose, you should use them to minimize your time in browsing through your materials. Also, keep your notes concise and straightforward and highlight statements or lines that you can cite in your work. Through these, you can locate necessary supporting details as you draft. Lastly, it would help if you make a list of all the references that you will need. Identify whether you will cite them on your paper or not. It is because not all materials you read will be placed on the Works Cited page.
Be Careful with Web-Based Research
Have you ever asked your teacher this question, “How do you research properly?” If you have not done this yet, it will help to ask them this. They know several tips that can aid you in researching for the right resources. Also, they can give you some information about your school’s online library accounts. Some students may not know about them because they never asked. But some schools partner with online libraries to provide their students with resources that are not available for everyone else. They are also a part of your library fees, so use them as much as you can.
If you do not have these resources, you still have lots of available free options. First, you can browse the internet for materials, like online magazines, news articles, encyclopedias, and so on. You can also read essays with a similar topic. The given citations on those works may lead you to incredible resources, too. Lastly, it would be best for you to use credible materials from reputable sources without spending anything. You can use Google Scholar to access free journal articles and scholarly papers. Always remember your citations should be from credible sources only and not from fake news websites or editable web pages.
Acknowledge Your Sources
Whenever you write essays with research results or statistical data, you must cite the necessary information about the material. Besides these kinds of information, you should also cite sources from news or journal articles, informative videos, and other sources. It is vital in any academic writing so that you will not commit intellectual theft or plagiarism. Doing this reflects your honesty, integrity, and credibility as a writer because you do not claim another person’s work as your own.
To do this step correctly, you must know which citation style to use first. It would help if you first asked your teacher about this because you can use several formats to cite. Most institutions use APA, MLA, or CMS. Each style is distinct, especially in putting in-text citations or making a Works Cited page. Some teachers include this as a part of their grading rubric, so it would be best to consult your teacher beforehand.
In conclusion, research is crucial in writing an essay, especially for some types like argumentative and expository. So, you need to dedicate time for research, find background information about the topic, take some notes, and cite credible sources. By doing these things, you can maximize your time and produce a high-quality output.