Writing a Research Assignment

When it is time to write the research assignment properly, a complex issue that requires decisions refers to the place and time at which the work must be carried out.It is not a trivial matter to resolve the right time to write, as different people find more favourable conditions in different periods. Some can segment their time and thus maintain or increase their productivity; others need a period of absolute concentration. For some the morning, afternoon or night, are the most convenient times. The important thing is not to postpone indefinitely the writing pending the optimal moment, which does not always arrive within a reasonable time frame.

But an even more relevant subject is the place to write. The comfort of the table and chair proper lighting, and the absence of annoying noises and interruptions, are crucial to maintaining a productive and continuous work. To some extent, it is always possible to change the working environment in our favour, and we must deal with it.

Having defined these matters, the next question is how to write our work concretely.The first thing recommended in this instance is to write as quickly as possible a first draft, which includes the spontaneous effort to put into a series of sentences with continuity of thoughts about a topic that at this point, already familiar.For that first draft, it is worth insisting on, it is not the person who writes to pause for a long time trying to shape some particular idea in definitive form. There will be time later for that, certainly in the final review instance. The important thing here is to omit as little as possible, although its form is imperfect, emphasizing above all the continuity of ideas, according to the mode of organization of the material that has been chosen.

Regarding the main point (or main points), generally the writing structure that is recommended for its treatment is the following one:

  • A. Establish the point in a brief and precise way;
  • B. Develop it in an explanatory way;
  • C. Support it with statistics or quotes from authorities on the subject;
  • D. Illustrate with examples;
  • E. Interrelate with other main points of the work.

A common error to avoid when preparing this draft text is the repetition of rephrased ideas, since the one who reviews and evaluates the text is always attentive to these repetitions.The first draft should then be expressed in a clear copy, desirably double spaced and with wide margins, to allow for correction over the text itself.A cooling period is then suggested, in which the text is reconsidered when it has been a while and can be seen in a different perspective because the fundamental ideas have been decanted as such.

The following phase is the review period.During this period, these basic questions must be borne in mind:

  1. Does the approach convince the reader of its importance?
  2. Have the basic materials been selected for their relevance?
  3. Are terms or concepts clearly defined which could be interpreted differently?
  4. Is the study's conclusion consistent with the materials previously presented in the text?
  5. Does the logical and well-spun exposure flow from section to section?
  6. Is there an appropriate balance between brevity and completeness?
  7. Are grammar and spelling rules appropriately used?

At this stage of review, one of the fundamental problems that must be addressed is the concatenation of the text. It is very often that attempt is made to obtain this articulation using an indiscriminate use of phrase-links to link paragraphs that are not organically related in their contents. This is how expressions such as "consequently", "from the above it is derived", "in synthesis", "in conclusion", trying to artificially construct a connection where there is not. An attentive reader immediately warns that the sequences you are trying to establish do not exist so the use of these language tricks is not convenient.

Another way of artificially spinning paragraphs is to number them ("first", "second", finally "), which can also be inconvenient if the differentiation does not correspond effectively to different ideas that need to be ordered in that way. A variant of such hierarchical ordering is the horizontal ordering consisting of the presentation of ideas on the same level ("on the one hand", "on the other"), which is also only appropriate when such ordering is justified by the nature of the Ideas that are being so ordered.

In general, the structures described should be revised to limit their use to what is really appropriate, since the misuse of these structures reveals a sloppy wording or a misunderstanding of the ideas being handled.The revision of the text must be followed by a phase of organization of the notes and the bibliography used. This task is purely mechanical and very simple, if the background was collected in an orderly way in the preliminary investigation phase.

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