For all you students and grad students out there who maybe have a big research paper coming up or any kind of large research project I’m Justine tal Goldberg. I’m owner of write by night a writer service and Writing Center with headquarters in Austin Texas serving Florida’s Treasure Coast and clients remotely nationwide and today I’d like to talk to you about some tips for approaching and carrying out your research projects so research papers or really any kind of research project can be extremely overwhelming it’s a matter of integrating your original thoughts with other people’s thoughts people who have come before you and written about the same topic so what we’re going to look at.
Today is the three steps in producing a research paper or a research project and those steps include of course the research the analysis and the integration so not surprisingly the first step in any research project is going to be research the key here is organization and organization is going to be key for each of these steps that I’m going to talk about today you’re going to want to carry that organization through the entire process so basically to start off before you even read a word on whatever topic you’re writing about or reporting about you’re going to want to develop an organizational system so that can be really anything that’s going to work for you I know that’s very general it’s a little bit broad but just kind of step back and think about how you like to work and what usually works best for you so a good example of an organizational system is perhaps on index cards very simple you can color code them so that when you need to retrieve the information later you’ll be able to do so easily you could even use various word documents with very clear labels very clear file names.
The key here is to be able to find that information later on when you need. It I’m also within this research stage and this is when you start to do a little bit of reading and you actually begin with your research you’re going to want to take copious notes as you go through make sure that you’re writing everything down if it’s easier for you to maybe you find a piece of material that you feel like is going to be very helpful make a photocopy highlight underline take notes in the margins that way you will have that information in front of you. You won’t have to rely on your memory later on which can very often be unreliable.