Personal Opinion: Writing Research Essays at School

(Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

(Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Sharing my point of view about research essays has been essential for this blog. I sincerely hope that this was of help for most of you, in the short and long terms of research essay writing.

However, there had been trends in this academic activity that I think needed further discussion. Be cautioned that the following points are mine to make, but yours to reflect:

Schools don’t seem to realise the necessity of support. How many times have I reiterated the need for us, students, to obtain concrete support for our research essays? Certainly, I did that too many times; and while my voice is a wee bit tiny to be heard by large academic institutions, collate yours with mine and we’d be equivalent to considerable decibels.

Enough is enough. The culture within uni halls that labels those who didn’t fare well in research essays stupid or intellectually lacking should stop and cease to exist. What needs to be recognised is the need for help and that’s my point of view about research essays.

Students need to ask for support. Let’s face it: staying mum about our writing support needs won’t make a difference in how we do our writing or how tutors design their essay metrics. In the growing orientation of research even at undergraduate level, it has been no surprise that research essays become a staple coursework for almost any type of student.

(Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

(Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

As students, we need to create a clear message as to where our weaknesses in writing lie. Is it in grammar or referencing? Is it in maintaining a productive pace of writing? Whatever it is or are, we got to name it. In most cases, specific issues seem smaller and manageable and are therefore, subject to accessible solutions – than the generalised “I need help” statement.

Students should be receptive of other kinds of support. Ranting at an uninterested or disengaged tutor or institution may have long term impacts (i.e., consider your needs). But in the meantime, you will need another kind of writing support.

You can get just that if you welcome options, like working with buddies, tutorials, writing seminars, and writing services.

My point of view about research essays matters, because like you, I’m after improvement, skills, and of course, marks.

Interesting Topic for My Research Essays

Taking good care to choose the best topic is essential for research essays. This choice goes a long way – it can predict the type of writing approach, or the references you’d need. The wrong choice, on the other hand, forecasts difficulties or overwhelming challenges ahead.

In simple terms, a topic can make or break your essay.

Hence, do not opt for simply picking the favourite, or sticking to the standard topics. I, for one, carefully select an interesting topic for my research essays. Yes, ‘interesting’ – that is the main attribute that I long to find for my research pieces.

English: Illustration of how the three key con...

English: Illustration of how the three key concepts relate in the Topic Map standard. These are topic, association and occurrence. c pouri (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In fact, if it’s not interesting, might as well not write a thing and do other chores of which will render me productive. Because, like it or not, an uninteresting topic, would hardly make me finish the essay. I would either get sleepy, or become frustrated about my piece.

So, how do we come up with something interesting?

  1. Do the basic: research. This little measure can help you uncover the gems that abound a particular topic. Besides, the most interesting topics are seldom obvious.
  2. Bask in questions. Generating questions is crucial to activating our radar for the interesting topic. It makes us curious, moves us to read more and later consider: “Hey, why not try this topic for my research essays?
  3. Jot things. Whether it’s relevant or not, write it down. I have observed that doing this makes it easy to spot a connection between ideas or concepts – connections or relationships that are, indeed, worthy to be put on as a research essay.
  4. Start a short brief. You may write it as a short narrative or story. Whatever the form, make sure to include putting the objective of your piece, the focal point to discuss, as well as, highlight some preliminary arguments.
  5. Study that brief. The written brief should render it ready for you to judge if your topic is good to go. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  6. Do more research. This research should be able to substantiate some of the assumptions you are putting in your brief. If you think it’s fantastic, then write on. 

Bonus tip: I usually take my briefed topic for my research essays to tutors just to be sure.