Every process requires a bit of research. If you want to sell something, you should learn the market and find some unique advantages of your service or product. If you want to play a game, you need to learn the rules (or even successful tactics). The same thing is with education. Truly, educational process is the system of continuous researches. Some of these researches are already implemented and included in the educational system, and some of them every student should do independently to succeed. Those students who know how to perform an effective research succeed more than others, because they know exactly what, when and how to do and don’t waste their time on unnecessary things.
The clearest example of student’s research work is research paper assignment. Research starts even before the first word of the paper is written. Good researchable topic is a half of work and students spend a lot of time to find it. Only research can give you a good topic. To find it you should read about different fields, select one that interests you and learn the background. If you are lucky, you will find soon that some of the topics can be continued. Otherwise, you have to start your research from the very beginning. Surely, some of us are real geniuses; sometimes a good topic comes to us without any visible connection to our search. Anyway, even in this case we need to learn the background to make sure that our topic is not disclosed yet.
Main stages of every research
- Pre-research. At this stage we decide what field is interesting for us. It is highly important to select something that really interests you, because inspiration is a good companion for the research. To find interesting field, you have to be aware of all existing fields, or at least of some of them
- Topic selection. When you selected a good field for your research, you can search for an interesting topic. As it was already mentioned, you can learn the background and modify some of the already existing topics to continue someone’s research
- Information accumulation. When you have a good topic, it is the right time to collect relevant information. Before you will start doing that, you have to make sure that you have enough information resources for your topic
- Analysis and making a structure. At this stage you can analyze your information and create the structure of how you will use it
- Writing. Actually, this is not the stage of research; this is the stage that goes after research. However, it is an integral part of it.
Research is very useful for educational process. It involves such good characteristics as creativity and independence. All progressive (sometimes even revolutionary) things were born with the help of these qualities. Only research can push students to think independently (there are two important words here â€“ â€œthinkâ€ and â€œindependentlyâ€). Indeed, traditional educational process sometimes teaches students not to think independently, but to follow the rules. But rules always become outdated, while research can help to learn something new.
Every research is unique and operates with different information resources, in a different situation. However, there are several advices that will help you to perform an effective research. All these tips can be divided in four groups.
How to define research scope
- Determine a good reason why your research needs to be done. It is important only in case if it helps someone. This should be a motivation through the whole work. Surely, you cannot give an objective answer about its importance, but make it based on your own professional and personal needs
- Define the question at hand. Write down any sub-questions, which should be researched before you will answer the question. In other words, you should boil down the question to basic terms and disciplines
- Consider your thesis. This is usually the response to a general topic question. The thesis statement helps you to make the structure of the paper and also shows readers the main idea of it
- If it’s an academic research, you will probably need to write a research proposal. Usually research proposal is required for such kinds of writing as term papers, research papers, and graduate projects. To make it right, set the problem first and then explain why the problem is relevant for future readers
- After all this stages you can define your project parameters and scope. Determine your timelines, list of topics in the final report, the schedule of reviews by teachers and the number of required sources. Also think about the format for your research list and citations.
Find information resources for the paper:
- If you use the Internet, than give preference to reliable websites (sources by universities, scientists, government journals and etcetera)
- Use your college or university library if it’s possible
- Organize interviews with people who have an experience with the research topic (professionals, experts and witnesses)
- Organize observational research if you need it for your research (sometimes relevant location can help a lot)
- Refine your search. It may happen that you will slightly modify your thesis statement at this stage.
Evaluate sources and to prepare to research:
- Identify primary and secondary sources through your information sources
- Prefer objective sources. Anyway, subjective sources are useful too (Try to find some contrasting sources with the opposite point of view)
- Published in print sources are more reliable
- Use only relevant sources in your research
- Make question due to your sources and annotate all text
- Develop an outline.
The final stage it to make your research due to the outline. Be careful and always keep in mind your goal â€“ the research should help someone and answer on some relevant questions. This is a good position that all successful people use. The last thing about a good research is that it cannot have a bad result. Even negative result due to the thesis statement gives useful information.