Meet 4 Research Tips for College Papers

An important part of being a college or university student is dealing with research papers. And an integral part of writing research papers is conducting in-depth research. The latter can make you feel like you’re totally exhausted, stressed out, anxious, and even burnt out. As a result, you are unable to focus on your work.

The great news is that there are loads of tips and tricks that you can follow to make your research less painful and stressful. If you make sure to use the recommendations given below, you will be able to cope with your research project within the deadline and get the grades that you deserve without stressing out in the process. So, here’s what you need to know…

Work According to a Schedule

When you’re assigned a research paper, the first thing that you should do is thinking of your schedule. Make sure you don’t dive into the process instantly. Instead of working chaotically or leaving the whole process to the last possible moment, ensure to set a manageable schedule.

How to schedule your future research? First of all, you can break the process down into small bite-size chunks. It is important to set a realistic deadline for every other piece of work until the whole process is done. In order to do this, you need to first check your materials and figure out what is available at the moment. After that, make sure to break your topic down into small chunks and begin to take notes on each. Sooner than you know, you will have important information that you will later include in your research paper.  

What’s the Question?

When you get your hands on the thesis statement, most undergrads tend to wait for a question to pop up as they check the research that they have collected. However, you can make your life easier if you already have a potential question in your mind as you conduct your research. This is important because you can choose certain pieces of research based on whether they will help you find the right answer to your question or not.

See What Wikipedia Says

It’s no doubt, we can’t use Wikipedia as a 100% reliable source of information. However, when it comes to doing your research for a college paper, checking out Wikipedia can be useful if you need to make some facts clear. There’s no doubt that Wikipedia includes some great facts that may help you start your research. It provides you with an overview of your issue under research and a range of additional sources to browse.

For that reason, it is recommended to start your research from Wikipedia. Check some general tips, take notes, clarify facts and figures, hit up the sources and links, and start working on your research from this site. Of course, it’s not a good idea to cite this website as your primary source. Besides, Wikipedia can’t help with a research paper. It is better to double-check all the details you get from there. However, Wikipedia is a good start for your research, that’s true.

Browse Your Sources and Take Notes

When you have a list of the sources that you would like to use for your research, it’s time to read them from A to Z. We have some simple recommendations for this stage as well:


Check the article and go through the section headings. In case you see certain terms or words that, you believe, should be included in your project, ensure to make note of each. At the same time, you have to check how the authors tend to start their paragraphs and put down the sentence starters as well. if you do so, you will get a better idea of how professionals present their arguments.

Write down questions

After skimming each article, make sure to put down all the questions that you have. Besides, it is also important to write down all general questions as well that you’re going to answer later. No matter what you’re engaged in, always remember your topic.

Start reading actively

Now that all of your materials are at hand, you have to start reading. However, by reading we don’t mean just going through the materials that you have collected (like you’re scrolling your Instagram feed). Instead, make sure to take a pencil or pen and underline any interesting ideas, facts, figures, or terms that you may include later in your text.

Feel free to make as many notes as needed in the margins about other concepts and sources that come to your mind. If it’s a library book, make notes in your notebook.

Take regular breaks

If you’re done with the reading part, make sure to have some rest. Go for a walk, take a nap, have your favorite cappuccino. Workout. Do whatever you want to take your mind away from writing, reading, and researching.

Sum up

Not get back to your articles to see all the things that you noted or highlighted. Collect all of your notes, copy them, and transfer them to the notes organizer like Evernote.

If there are any unknown terms, you have to look up each and put down definitions in your notes. Besides, it is recommended to make note of all sources that the author mentions in his work.

When it comes to reading, many students find themselves wondering, “If it’s a book, am I supposed to read the whole book for my research?” Of course, not! Just make sure to check the table of contents to find the sections or chapters that are most relevant to your topic. Now read them just the way you read the articles. Don’t forget to check the bibliography section in a book. Chances are you will find loads of additional sources there.

It doesn’t matter what subject you have to do research for – it is 100% can be broken down into a range of sub-subjects. Don’t even try to work on all of them at a time. Instead, work on one sub-category at a time. If you do so, rather than focusing on everything at once, you will find it easier to understand the topic and deal with it as you do your research. As a result, you will get a better idea of the subject. Once you’re done with each sub-subject, you will be able to connect your research stages and concentrate on the subject as a whole.

Finally, before you start working on your research, make sure to select the topic that you’re interested in doing research for. If you’re provided with an opportunity to choose your topic on your own, take advantage of this chance and give preference to something that you’re curious or even passionate about. If you do so, you will get the motivation needed to conduct thorough research on the topic. Be specific when you choose your research topic. If you fail in this, you will end up struggling with a topic that is too general.