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Apr 14th 2014

Expert Advise on Research Paper Planning from Julie Petersen

EssayMama expert Julie Petersen agreed to provide our readers with the professional advise on how to write a research paper, plan a writing process and stay calm. Use these tips to succeed in academic writing!

“It is time to write the first of what will probably be many college research papers, and you may start to feel a little panicky. The chances are that this college research paper is going to in some way count towards your final score. At the very least, it is going to act as a part of your grade point average to be sure you remain in college. So, here is a little advice to get you started.”

Don't panic

“There is no need to panic. You are not supposed to be good at this stuff”, - Julie says. “If you were, then what would be the point in being at college at all? It would be like going to a kiddie's paddling pool to learn to swim after just crossing the English Channel. You do have to get good at it, but again, that is why we are at college.”

Start your research paper the same day it is given

“This is the most important tip, and yet it seems like the most passive and pointless. The very same day you are given your college research paper assignment, you need to start it. You can make a chunky start on it in the library, or you can go home and make a start – but you must start! If you don't do it then you are going to put it off and leave yourself at a massive disadvantage”, - claims Julie.

And we believe it's totally true. The psychology of having a big project waiting and having started your big project is very different, and you are guaranteed to put it off if you do not make a start the same day. The crazy thing is that when you do put it off you are just shortening your deadline. You are shortening the amount of time you get to spend in your college research paper, and that is something you should be panicking about.

Check what your professor is looking for

“If you have your assignment written on a question sheet, which is usually the case, then check it over and ask questions on anything that you are not 100% clear on. You would be surprised at just how many mistakes people make even with simple instructions. Before Stephen Hawkins became ill, he was set homework in University with five questions that were viciously difficult. He turned up the next day and said to his friend that he was in trouble because he only got through three of the questions. His friend said, “Yeah, but on the sheet it said to do only one” and few of the people in his class even managed the one because they were that difficult. Even a guy as smart as that can misunderstand instructions and you need to be sure the same does not happen to you.”

Keep reading your research questions repeatedly

“This is a trick you should have been taught in high school. Read the questions/assignment and start your work. As you research and such, you should re-read your questions/assignment again, and a while later you should do it again. The point of this is to keep your mind on track. It also helps you acclimatize to the question, which later makes completing your assignment much easier.”

Do preliminary research and write notes as you do

“This helps you take in the research you are doing and helps you come back to certain sections later when you need them. If you are not writing notes on the thing you are researching then you probably do not need that bit of research and so may move one. Bullet point notes are all that is needed.”

Thanks, Julie! We hope that the listed above tips were helpful for you. Share your thoughts in comments.


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