Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Research Paper FAQs

Where should I start?

Start organized. Have your notes and as many resources as possible nearby. Have a brief outline of your argument, choose one section, and write as much as possible on that particular topic. Slowly you will development your argument. You can refine and edit as well as add additional sources once you have started working. I recommend writing your introduction very last because your argument will be finished and it will make summarizing your work much easier.

What should I do if I have writer’s block or I’m not sure what I want to say?

Start writing. The work that you will do as you write and think will pay off and although you may not be able to use the first page or two that you write on this particular topic, they will help you to determine your focus and the points that you want to make.

What should I do if I am having a hard time finding the “right” word?

If you are in a good writing rhythm, do not let this lack of word stop you from continuing to write. Put a placeholder in the sentence that will draw your attention back to the word when you have finished writing or when you are ready to take a break. I usually use the word blank in all capital letters. When you are ready to word on your replacement for your placeholder, think of a word as close as possible to the right word as possible. A term or phrase that describes your thought. Look this word up in the dictionary, on the internet, and in the thesaurus. These resources should help you to find your word. In addition, talk to a someone else and describe the context of the word. Sometimes a simple conversation will stimulate your brain.

Do you have another question you'd like the EfE team to answer? Send an e-mail to kristen@kristenkingfreelancing.com, and look for the answer to your question soon!

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