Academic Research: Finding a Topic, Writing a Thesis, Using Resources
Doing Research and Writing
Academic Research - Adequate Focus and Definition
Academic research, by definition, is the research performed associated with higher education. To partake in such research one would need to have knowledge of the different resources that he or she would have available to them. These different types of resources that can be used range from the Internet to academic papers, books and other things one could find at a library or University. Furthermore, they would need to understand the information and know what they are looking for. Having access to these sources doesn't mean that they can just start performing research. Considering the topic, one would need to know how to search and then compile the information in a matter that is usable for whatever the person wants to do with it. Academic research can be a fun but daunting process that is time consuming but rewarding in the end.
The first thing one must know is where to look for information regarding their specific topic. There are, of course, many resources available to the public but one cannot deal with this much information. The Internet and it's vast array of servers and information is one of the main resources to academic research. It's usually the one place to find books and papers that one would usually find in a University or public libraries. More students are using the Internet when researching for their assignments. Also, more teachers are requiring research to be done using the Internet. Research from the Internet is very different from the traditional research in a library. The Internet has a tremendous amount of resource and not all the information provided is critical or true.
The resources one finds in the library are almost always checked by professionals before they are published. Therefore, when using the Internet one must be careful of where the information is coming from. One shouldn't completely rely on the Internet as a resource even though it is convenient and easily accessible. Cross-checking is a good method to use to check the reliability of the information from the Internet with the information from the library. It's best to keep a detailed record of where one obtains their information and how they got it. Double-check the URLs that are put in the paper so they can be retrieved by the reader. If one is using a library, then keep a detailed record of what resources they have used to obtain their information.
Before one would start doing their research, it's best to narrow the research topic down before logging onto the Internet or going to the library. Before one starts searching, think about what they are looking for, and formulate some questions to direct and limit their search. They'll need to then understand the difference between primary and secondary research. Primary being research that isn't located in any paper, research they'll need to do on their own. Secondary being research from other experts that they'll be using and referencing. It's best to next determine the scope and time line of the project. Figure out how much time one will have and start scheduling it out. Once they have their questions and everything organized they can then start using their resources to acquire the information they need. The best way to obtain this information is to start reading and write the information that stands out to them and answers those questions. Find a method of note taking that best suits them as a researcher, this could be highlighting, copy and pasting, writing in a notebook and cutting articles out from a newspaper. Always be sure to double-check the resources and information they are using for credibility and accuracy.
When one has all the information that they need for writing their paper, then they have successfully done academic research. They can now start writing their thesis and rough draft. It takes time and patience but after they have dug through all the information, they'll be amazed at what they come up with and how they can use it. It's important to just take their time and be as organized as possible.
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