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In Focus: Research Paper Tips Straight From Communication Research Students

In Focus: Research Paper Tips Straight From Communication Research Students


By Michiko Pearl Palaran
Chalk Campus Correspondent

Whether you’re a high school or college student, you've probably experienced working on a research paper. From creating the topic to finding your sources, research may be overwhelming. But, if you're organized and systematic, then you won't have much problem.

So, if you're always dreading doing research or simply bad at it, here are some personal hacks from  Communication Research students Jason Jarabejo and Steffi Gianan from the University of the Philippines Diliman! 

1. Find a topic that you are interested in.

If you're curious about the topic, you will definitely not hate doing the task. Make your research fun by learning more about the topic that piques your interest! But there’s a catch—make sure to not fall in love with the topic as it may only feed your curiosity and not contribute to the existing pool of knowledge. Don’t forget the relevance and purpose of your paper!

2. Use a reference manager application.

Reading numerous articles may be draining. But applications such as Mendeley and Zotero can help you categorize your references. Upon importing your articles on the application, it is also uploaded into the cloud, ensuring that you have a copy of the reference when it gets deleted! It also has features that allow you to highlight and annotate your bibliographies. But the best part? They can instantly cite your reference, making research so much easier!

3. Have a back-up.

You wouldn’t want to find your work unsaved or deleted after spending days of working on it. Make sure to have a back-up copy on your hard drive, or better yet work on it on Google Drive! The more copies, the merrier, as you wouldn’t need to panic if your laptop crashes or your file gets deleted!

4. When in doubt, always check.

Unsure if the information you found is legit? Check the source. Make sure to use data from legitimate academic journals and websites and trusted authors. Don’t be satisfied with the journal citing a concept. Look into the reference list and find the original work to have a better grasp of the idea. Additionally, academic formats are always a Google away, so don’t hesitate to make that click!

5. Write as if you’re telling a story.

Imagine that your readers have no idea about your topic, and they are actually going through your paper to learn something new. Make sure to break down big concepts into simple and easy words, and ensure transitions for each part are smooth. Add some photos and graphs too, and let everyone to read and understand your work and learn something new!

6. Do not cram the RRL.

We repeat: DO NOT CRAM THE RRL, simply because you cannot. Writing your review of related literature is a long process. From finding journals and articles that are related to your topic, to picking up pieces that support your study, this process will be present all throughout your research. You’ll be reading pages and pages of concepts and information that you will need to trim down eventually, so better start early!

As tedious as it may sound, there’s no better feeling of accomplishing a research paper knowing that you have poured your heart and effort and it, and eventually contributing to new knowledge!

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