Does the thought of writing a research paper cause anxiety? For many, creating a thesis statement, research, surveys and interviews can feel overwhelming to the point of complete panic! If you feel this way, do not procrastinate, start early and incorporate the tips referenced below into your process, you may find your anxiety turning into confidence and reassurance.Do Not Procrastinate: It is so easy to put the paper off if you are not excited about getting started. Provide plenty of time – think of your thesis statement early and get started on your research. Write a quick schedule to help you keep track of time: list the days you have left and the time during the day you'll be able to work. You will need to allot yourself time to go to your school library, take notes, write an outline, write a first draft, and revise the paper.
Thesis Statement: It's important to start out your research with a well-defined Thesis Statement. If you have a hard time developing a thesis statement, meet with your instructor during office hours and discuss your thoughts – they can help. If you are having struggles, your instructor can give you direction with this as well—do not hesitate to reach out to them during their office hours. Some tips to consider when developing your Thesis Statement:
Ø Keep it simple: You don't need an enormous subject to work with.
Ø Make it specific: It's much easier to do research on a narrowly selected subject than a massive idea. Help yourself by sharpening it down.
Ø Ensure your thesis will work: Check with your professor about the suitability of the thesis to the assignment (some instructors may require you get their approval). Do some initial research to make sure there's enough available material on your topic.Research: Take some time to familiarize yourself with the libraries you'll be using. Do not be timid-- talk to one of the reference librarians about where and how to start—they are there to help. To stress again, start early so you have plenty of time to work with a librarian. If you're under deadline, they may not have time to help you. If you are in the area, you can visit the NOVA Libraries (they even have ‘Ask a Librarian’ live chat). As an ELI student, you also have off campus access and assistance from our ELI Librarian.
ELI Resources: When writing your paper, you may find the Writing Lab, offered through our free Smarthinking tutoring helpful. The online Writing Lab provides students with the ability to receive a detailed, personalized critique of any written assignment through a formal critique process. NOVA also offers a Writing Center on each campus available to ELI students.For more information on this topic, to include writing your introduction, steps on gathering and organizing your research, and more, please click here.