How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake in Writing a Research Paper

In this video I’d like to teach you a concept that will save you a lot of time and frustration when writing a research paper.

When doing research, most students think that they must become masters of the topic in order to write an original paper. So they jump head first into research. They dig up all the articles and books related to the topic.

Then they read them or at least the parts that seem relevant. I had one student who researched her topic for one full year before she contacted me for help.

Unfortunately, as you may have noticed if you’ve ever done this yourself, researching a topic hardly helps to put together a thesis – your own argument. In other words, you can read fifty articles and ten books and realize that you still have no idea what exactly you should be writing.

And this is normal because each of the authors you’ve read has a unique argument that is supported in a unique way. You find that there is virtually no agreement among the authors. And of course you feel stuck as a result. Although when you started, it seemed that you would definitely get somewhere just by doing the research.

But it’s a mistake that only results in you filling up your mind with all the disjunct and even contradictory material.

So, you’re probably wondering what you should do instead? And the answer is simple.

Step 1. Gather only enough information to put together your own main argument.

Step 2. State the argument as your thesis or your hypothesis (in case you’re writing a scientific paper).

Step 3. Simply go to work to find all the support for your thesis or the data to test your hypothesis.

That’s it.

So, again, stop the endless research and instead make a decision on what exactly you will argue or hypothesize in your paper. And ONLY THEN do the bulk of the research.

This will cut your time spent on research at least in half and will make the process of writing the essay much easier and more enjoyable.

Please ask questions in the comments below.



Tutor Phil

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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