Hello! I'm working on my first big research paper, and I was wondering if you had any tips for organizing your research and the actual paper itself. Thanks much!
Hi! Here is how I work through drafting:
- annotate the brief/question/etc - first, I go in and read all about the assessment that I have to do. I’ll highlight the important words and any crucial information. I will go through the marking criteria too and make sure I’m hitting those as targets.
- jot down ideas - in a brief outline, I’ll write a few potential paragraph points on a post it note. I’ll refer to my notes from the lectures/tutorials/readings and see if there are any stand out ideas. I usually do this a few days before so it isn’t as daunting when I’m about to start.
- plot out word count - on another post it note, I’ll write the minimum and then do an approximate for each potential paragraph. This really helps me 1) not waffle about crap and 2) make sure I’ll get within the range
- plan out a draft - once I’ve had a look around for my paragraph ideas, I’ll use do a mind map or something which each idea and put my reference/quotes/evidence underneath. I’ll put a brief summary of my points so I had an idea of where I’m going with my points.
- save tabs - I’ll always add tabs to my reading list or bookmark them so I can easily go back. If it’s super important, I’ll usually add the link into my document with a sentence on what is important about it so I don’t forget.
- referencing - I’ll have a reference page where I will write dow everything I’ve referred to so I’m not forgetting something.
I usually end up with a few pages of notes/drafts when getting on with an assessment. I’ve got two more coming up this week so I might video them and upload them to YouTube! x