Materials I Need for My Research Essays

Historical map of research paradigms and assoc...

Historical map of research paradigms and associated scientists in sociology and complexity science. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is quite easy to immediately head on writing that waiting research essays. However, it’s much easier and considerably smoother if you’ve got what you need at an arm’s length. This article, therefore, takes you to the wonders of gathering the right materials for research essays.

Now, when we talk of materials, bear with me that we are not only talking about the tangible stuff. Theoretically, materials do cover things that we put in our head, information we consume. To see what I mean, refer to the mixed entries below:

1. A complete grasp of what’s to come. First stop for this gather-galore starts with an obtained view or a general outline. Composing members of this outline include an expressed statement or famously known as instructions; and an idea of the expected output.

To have both you need to listen to your tutor’s mini-discussion about the research essay. Next, you’d need to carefully read and absorb the instructions. If you find it hard to just put them in your head, try listing them as notes or mapping them out in mind maps.

2. References. Relevant and updated references are the raw materials for research essays. It is pegged as a raw material, because references are seldom infused in their plain form (i.e., in-text quotations). Students are encouraged to paraphrase, which suggests the selection of apt words and phrases used to express references.

3. An outline. This is the end-result of an idea plus references. You can’t just submit a research essay written in a haphazard form. Rather, it has to be retrofitted with the most apt organisation, be it sequential, logical, and so forth.

However, don’t put too much faith in outlines. Otherwise, it’ll cause you heartache when the time comes to tweak it. In other words, design outlines and approach outlines as flexible as possible.


books (Photo credit: brody4)

4. Referencing guide. For those who are gifted with a photographic memory, such guide won’t be necessary. For the rest, a referencing guide is just a must. You won’t always know which among the details have to be italicised, or the sequence in the list if there are five authors with similar last names, but different surnames.

These four make up the essential list of materials for research essays. Collect all four before writing!


My Definition of Research Essays As A Student

studentsStudents’ view of writing essay is highly inclined to be dull. For them, it’s all about the tedious gathering of references and the formulation of profound thoughts – which, in general, is hard to sustain.

The effort behind making this research and writing feasible is what makes it less appetising for students. The only thing that could change their mind is when they eventually find a way around this tedious job. Otherwise, their definition is locked unto these negative connotations.

My definition of research essays is no different. Like those students, I used to think it’s burdensome. This negative association made a huge gap between my definition and that of the uni’s.

My higher institution perceived the research essays to be an effective tool for drawing out the inquisitiveness from students. It was an avenue for performing standardised academic inquiries. What’s more, there was something unique about these research essays.

They were courseworks that were “personal.” It’s personal not just because it was exclusively ours to make or write; it is personal because it permits students, like me, to work under our pace. This view about research essays being “personal” – this caught on my definition of research essays.

My prior definition, which was closely knitted with negative associations, gradually vanished. I saw the logic behind my uni’s definition of research essays. In fact, you could say I agreed, or that it changed my mind.

Following my agreement of this whole “personal definition,” my own definition progressively expanded into these:

  • Since research essays is a personal affair (as suggested by my uni’s definition), its content is my responsibility. What I define as part of this personal responsibility is the meeting of specified requisites, as well as, an establishment of my own standards.
  • Research essays deeply involve the evaluation of another’s work – that is my reference’s author. This naturally suggests that I make it a point to really engage myself into studying another’s research. In my imagery, that would implicate a kind of discourse – between me and my reference’s author.
  • And because a research essay remains to be categorised as an academic endeavour, I will have to maintain that heightened sensitivity to academic conventions (grammar, spelling, referencing system). 

I’m proud to say that these make-up my definition of research essays.