Getting Your Facts Straight

Like I said in the post about writing what you don’t know, the whole point of a research paper is to turn something you don’t know into something that you do know. But I ask how do you really do that? You research. But more importantly, if one source states it, is it a fact? Not always. Especially if you are working with scientific studies, there are often findings that are contradictory or not factual. So when doing research make sure that you working with a variety of sources.

If nothing else, constantly be fact checking. Try to find multiple studies on the same topic to see if they have similar results or notions. Compare all results and refer to each study that you use. Also if you see that there are studies on a similar topic that have contradictory results show the opposing results and explain what makes them different. One source may not always be correct or may be purposely false.

Keep in mind of any jargon that you use, you should have a quick definition included with it. Double check when you are looking these up and keep a list handy nearby when you are working on your outline so that when you are creating it you can just plop one of your definitions where it is fitting.

Now flow is also going to matter as well when you using research. Write down what point you are going to make and pull from your research notes what you can use to either support or refute the point. This also helps when creating an outline because the points can lead into each other through the facts that you are using.

Most importantly, don’t forget to get all the information you can need from each source and write down all of the information such as title and author of the source so that you may credit each source properly. This will help you just in case if you have to find that source again later because you missed something and because it will be required by your instructor.

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