Tips on how to make your Research Paper Process easier

Some people naturally panic at the thought of writing a research paper. The process can be intimidating, and even a little frightening. Many would rather take a few extra exams, if it meant not writing a paper. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that this is an option you're faced with, so you have to make the best of it. These tips will make the writing your paper a whole lot easier. In fact, you may be quite surprised that it does not have to be the dreadful ordeal you are picturing.

Choose the Right Topic

In some cases, you may not have a choice, but most of the time you do. You may be tempted to try to pick a topic that is very broad, so you have a lot of available information, but this can cause problems, if you can't pull the findings together. Others choose something they know nothing about, so that is so far out of their comfort zone that they get completely lost, even with extensive research. When possible, choose a topic that interests you; one that is specific, so you can stay focused, without feeling the need to branch out in many different directions.

Time Management

If you continually put it off because you think you still have a lot of time, you will suddenly find you are scrambling because the deadline sneaked up on you. This is an important paper. Give yourself ample time to work on it. If you do a little bit at a time, it won't feel like the monumental project it rightfully is. You will want a break before the final edit, too, so you have fresh eyes looking at it. This way, you are more likely to catch small errors you may otherwise skim over.

Use Many Sources

It can be tempting take the easy route and do all of your research online. Unfortunately, then you miss out on some of the best sources. You will want to explore books, journal databases, newspapers, magazines, etc., at the library, as well.

Take Thorough Notes

Note-taking is a talent some have naturally and others need to work really hard at. Taking notes and writing down your sources to cite later is a crucial step in the process. You may think you can retain a lot of information, or that you will remember your sources later to find them again, but there is a good chance that you won't. Taking thorough notes may slow you down a little, but in the long run, you will be glad you invested the extra time.

Create an Outline

Some feel as though an outline will hinder their creative flow. Unfortunately, these are often the same people that get half way through and can't decide which direction to take with the content. Either that or they are never really able to pull it all together for a polished final draft. Create an outline. You don't have to stick to it like glue, but at least you will have an idea of where your focus should be to stay on topic.

Edit, Edit, Edit!

You can likely edit half a dozen times, and still find spelling or punctuation errors, odd sentence structures or points that simply need readdressed. The whole purpose of starting early is so you have time to edit several times. Do not edit back-to-back either. Give yourself a break before looking at it each time. Do not underestimate the benefit of having a second set of eyes review it, too.