Rescue us from Research

Academic writing…boring or brilliant? I suppose it depends on your interests, your style and the content of whatever it is that you’re writing or reading. For me personally, I connect academic writing with a long, painful and tiresome research process. High school Ancient History assignments scarred me for life. But in spite of it being the bane of my academic existence, I can acknowledge that research really is quite necessary to the production of a quality report, essay or thesis. This importance therefore, has prompted me to consider how best to go about researching for an academic piece of writing and what it is that has us all so often frustrated.

I’m contemplating writing a little ‘How to’ manual for academic research but I really would like to directly address the major concerns, questions, frustrations and desires of those who research. And who better to ask than my clever cohort of bloggers?

Tell me:

  • What are your best tips for how to research?
  • What are your biggest frustrations when researching?
  • Are there any aspects of the research process that confuse you?
  • If you were to have a ‘How to Effectively Research?’ manual, what questions would you like it to answer?

3 thoughts on “Rescue us from Research

  1. My number one tip is to keep organized… the more research you do, the more you will forget where you read something and then you waste a ton of time trying to track it down for a citation. There are some helpful apps/programs for this– I have used Zotero pretty successfully.

    I definitely think you need to include a section about reliable/scholarly sources– what are they, where can you find them, that sort of thing. The internet makes it easy to find information, but it’s not always trustworthy or appropriate for scholarly research!

    Good luck tackling this topic!!!

    • It never fails to amaze and inspire, the way you always provide such insightful and thoughtful advice! Thank you for always taking the time to leave such comments!!
      And you are right – organisation cannot be overestimated. Without being organised, even a pHD holder would struggle to produce a quality piece of work.
      And yes to the sources! It was my teachers’ number one requirement for any assignment: use quality, credible sources! My main thing for the internet is being able to find an author’s name. But there are other, additional ways as well. Any tips for verifying online credibility?
      Thank you!

      • Well, I would mainly stick to the databases that your library provides that catalog academic journals and try to avoid just googling things. For scholarly research academic journals or academic publications (look to see what press published the book and you can always google the author to see what sort of credentials they have) are your best bets.

        Definitely connect with a librarian or professor if you need help finding sources for your particular area. They are experts in the field and can often direct you to the best databases for your sort of research!

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