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As you’re starting your research, create some kind of system for filing helpful quotes, links, and other sources.
It’s a good idea to start by heading to the library and asking your local librarian for help (they’re usually so excited to help you find things! Check your school library for research papers and books on the topic.
Look for primary sources, such as journals, personal records, or contemporary newspaper articles when you can find them.
Take this thesis statement for example: actually prove it with your research, you’re golden. You know exactly what you’re looking for, and you know exactly where you’re going with the paper. That makes the next step a lot easier: So you have your thesis, you know what you’re looking for. By real research, I mean more than a quick internet search or a quick skim through some weak secondary or tertiary sources.
If you’ve chosen a thesis you’re a little unsteady on, a preliminary skim through Google is fine, but make sure you go the extra mile.
Here are some good places to look for reputable sources: As you read, analyze your sources closely, and take good notes.
Jot down general observations, questions, and answers to those questions when you find them.
It’s the sort of project that can leave even the most organized student quaking in their boots, staring at the assignment like they’re Luke Skywalker and it’s the Death Star.
You have to pick a broad topic, do some in-depth research, hone in on a research question, and then present your answer to that question in an interesting way. How on earth are you supposed to tackle this thing? With a well-devised plan, some courage, and of time together, so you might as well pick something you like, or, at the very least, have a vague interest in.
Also, avoid super analytical or technical topics that you think you’ll have a hard time writing about (unless that’s the assignment…then jump right into all the technicalities you want).
You’ll probably need to do some background research and possibly brainstorm with your professor before you can identify a topic that’s specialized enough for your paper.