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Common Challenges With Research Papers
Just about every student needs to write research papers during their educational career. The research paper is a very classic assignment that first shows up in grade school. Many students first see research papers in the first or second grade. When students think of the phrase, "The dog ate my homework" many of them are most likely thinking of their research papers and what that famous dog could have helped them escape doing!
Many students feel challenged by research papers. Lots of students have problems with research papers. These students may be bright or may even be considered "slow" having a challenge with a research paper is not a problem that seems to discriminate. Learning strong research paper skills is something that will be useful to a student throughout their educational career.
Learn how to research. This is often where many students feel the most challenged. They actually do not know how to research a topic. While they may have been in the school library, or on the Internet they feel simply stumped when it comes to researching that paper that is due. Learning strong research skills takes practice. One of the most important skills is discerning if a source is good for your research paper. The best way to do this is to read the Table of Contents and the Reference notes in the back used to find exact information. When you see your exact topic listed in both of these places, then this is a great source for you to use for your research paper.
Do not only use the Internet as your source. Some students feel the Internet is the "best" source of information and what they mean is that it is actually the most convenient. They don't want to spend the time to go to the library at school or across town to the town library. It is much easier to surf at home and find sources that way. However, some sources are more easily located in a school or college library as books, magazines or journals that may not be accessible online.
Keep in mind also that not everything published online can be taken as accurate: there are many people that have created hobby websites about topics and they may not be completely 100% accurate on your topic. The best way to combat that is to view at least two websites on the Internet and to see if both have the same information.
Stay organized with your project. It is human nature: many of us put off what we don't want to do. When you are a student and you have a research paper due, it is critical that you start it as early as possible. This is especially important when you have a research paper on a topic you are less than confident about, or perhaps you know that your research skills are not strong. Starting early is a great key to success. Keep in mind that many students will be going to the library, and your starting early will mean that you discover the best books on the subject first before they have been picked over.
Have someone you trust read your research paper. Before you turn your research paper in, ask a friend or family member to read your research paper. Try to ask someone whose opinion you trust and someone that you consider to be intelligent. Ask this person to read and critique your research paper. They may make suggestions and we suggest that you be grateful if they do: they could help you get a much better grade. This friend or family member pointing something out now could save you from handing in a research paper that is not quite ready for your teacher's eyes.
Research papers do not have to be so challenging. Learning to be organized and developing strong research skills will help you become more confident. These skills can take some practice and any student can only improve. Research papers can be a valuable part of one's learning experience.
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