One thing new students are going to encounter when they enter college or university is the practice of researching for their assignments. Research at this stage extends beyond simply gathering tons of information and focuses more on the ability to filter, analyse and interpret it.
Effective researching not only boosts your confidence in completing your assignments on time, it also ensures lifelong learning because it allows you to discover more than what sessions in the classroom offer and provides you with a better understanding of the topics researched.
Here are some tips to remember for cultivating good researching habits.
Begin your research as soon as you receive your assignment so you can juggle your time with other deadlines and activities. Use your assignment requirements as a guideline in your research, or discuss points with your lecturer if you are uncertain about the topic you intend to tackle.
A good way to establish a research topic is to come up with a thesis statement, which shouldn’t be too narrow or too broad in telling your reader what your work is about. This will also help keep you focused in your research and writing.
Use the right sources
Depending on the nature of your assignment, use appropriate sources in your research. Generally, there are two types of sources: primary sources are first-hand accounts like interviews, surveys and experiments, while secondary sources interpret and analyse a topic or primary source, such as data interpretation, journals and reference books.
Make it a habit to record your research materials for citation and future reference; otherwise you might end up going through the entire process of looking for them again.
Time your research
Deadlines shouldn’t be your reason to rush your research. You will find yourself establishing and refining your ideas better when you give yourself more time to absorb, examine and make sense of information gathered.
However, spare the remaining time of your assignment for writing and revising because producing subpar work will only put your research efforts to waste.
In general, use up-to-date and relevant information to support your work. Given that online research has become prevalent thanks to the Internet, make sure to fact-check information gathered and cite reliable sources instead of third-party websites such as Wikipedia.
Most importantly, do not plagiarise. Plagiarism is a serious offence in any educational institution, and you risk losing all credibility when you steal information and claim it as your own.
Therefore, brush up on your language skills, learn to paraphrase and quote information, and attach a reference page to show that you have done your homework ethically.
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This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2nBHL4M
Image Source: Nick Youngson