How to Research an Essay like a Pro
Writing a great essay will require understanding the evidence and the different arguments that relate to your topic of choice. This means that you have to undergo vigorous essay research.
How do you improve your research skills? This article will go through some of the steps that will help your research project succeed. Ultimately, you will learn how to research an essay like a pro.
1. Pick a Topic
You can’t undergo effective research if you haven’t chosen a topic. What may instead happen is that you end up going around in circles and reading research studies that are not relevant to your final choice.
When you’ve received a prompt from your professor, think about what you can tackle. It can be helpful to write about something you are interested in, and make sure the topic is relevant to your class.
Otherwise, if you are open to learning something new, you can choose a topic that you are not too familiar with. Controversial topics can also provide you with more existing arguments that you can explain in detail.
2. Conduct Some Research on the Topic
The next step is to have a bit of research. Before you can choose a thesis statement or formulate your arguments, you need to know what the topic is all about. You will also need to see which specific areas of the topic have a lot of research sources that will help your essay.
This type of research will require you to skim through a whole bunch of journals and books to see what will be helpful. Make sure you make a list of all the reliable resources you come across.
3. Organize Your Research
Now that you have plenty of information, how do you keep track of them? You will have to get organized and categorize your research according to what they support. This will be an effective way to ensure that you know which resource to revisit when writing your essay.
If you need to have a bibliography, this is also a good time to start organizing your research citations. This will ensure that you don’t rush the process at the end of the assignment, and it also makes it easier for you to track down a research piece that you need.
Otherwise, you can bookmark resources on your browser or include everything in a document, along with an explanation of how they relate to your essay.
4. Come Up With Your Thesis Statement
Your thesis statement will tell the readers what your essay research project will be about. It summarizes your main argument and the main themes that will be addressed in the paper.
Before you can conduct effective research, you need to know what your thesis statement is. In other words, you need to have a good idea of what the topic is and what your stance will be.
For instance, you may choose to argue against Kant’s philosophical ideas. Specify which theory of philosophy you will argue against, and specify the reason why it is not effective. When you conduct your research, you can immediately sift out the useless information from those that are not.
5. Create an Outline
How do you know what goes best where? Before you start writing your essay, you need to know how to formulate your main points and combine them with strong evidence.
To do this, you will need to make an essay planning outline. Divide your essay into the main sections, which can be the introduction, body, and conclusion.
Then, you can allocate the approximate word counts for each. For instance, your introduction and conclusion should have a limit of 10% each of the entire paper – even less if possible. The rest of the word count will be devoted to the body.
In the body section, divide it into your main points. If you have 3 different points, lay them out in bullet points, and compile the necessary research, argument, and evidence under each of them.
Condensing your essay research into outline form is an effective way to make sure that your arguments are all well-supported with relevant information.
6. Start Writing!
Once you’ve fleshed out your outline and found out where your different research materials should go, start writing. This is going to be a completely rough draft, so don’t be afraid to not have it all figured out yet. Instead, focus on getting the words out and onto paper.
Once you’re done with the first draft, you can leave it for some time. When you come back to it, focus first of all on areas where your argument falls short.
Maybe your 4th point isn’t as strong as you thought. At this point, you can go back to your sources – or find new ones – to bolster the argument. If you still can’t find a way to strengthen the point, take it out.
Once you have your draft ready, you can also see how well your research flows with the rest of the paper. Make sure you engage with your evidence at all times. It’s not enough to mention why a certain scholar disagreed with Kant, but flesh out their argument in your own words and relate it to your topic.
Excelling the Essay Research Process
No research project can succeed without an excellent grasp of the essay research portion. To ensure that you conduct your research well, start with a topic and then read widely. Skim through relevant resources before organizing them to be revisited easily.
Once you’re well-versed in the topic, choose a specific thesis statement and then form an outline. Once you’ve categorized your different research points into the outline of your essay, start writing!