One of the grievous mistakes students make as they write their research papers is assuming that they can submit an excellent paper without necessarily conducting preliminary research. The purpose of conducting preliminary research is as stated below:
- It helps you know if your research topic is too wide or too narrow
- It helps you identify the specifics of your assignment
- It helps you identify the most suitable resources for your assignment
- It helps you evaluate the availability of sources for your research
- It helps you to understand and internalize the main aspects of your research paper
How do you do preliminary research?
One of the reasons why students choose not to conduct preliminary research before writing research assignments is assuming they take so much time. Below is a simplified through which you can conduct effective preliminary research for your research paper assignment.
Give priority to specifics
The main objective of conducting research is to provide specific answers to specific questions. as such, avoid reading too much general information. To make sure that you engage in specific reading, follow the tips below:
- Go through the index and/or table of content for a mention of your topic and the specific page to find the topic
- Do a speed-read on the introduction to evaluate its relevance to your subject
How do you do speed reading?
There is a difference between speeding reading and skimming. Speed-reading involves reading all information fast in order to determine the relevance in your research paper. Speed-reading involves:
- Reading sections where authors strategically place main ideas
- Reading the fast three paragraphs of the introductory chapter
- Reading the last three paragraphs of the introductory chapter
Upon reading the above-mentioned sections, you will know if a source is suitable for your research paper assignment or otherwise. Work with sources that will give you relevant information.