Regardless of your year of study, research is an integral part of your degree here at Newcastle University Business School. Whether you are writing an essay, report, dissertation, or even exam, you are expected to undertake a significant amount of research on your chosen modules. The following tips can help you enhance your research skills and understand how to make the process more efficient and effective.
Have a plan:
You will need a schedule if you are to effectively complete your research. This should primarily include a brief outline of how many articles you would like to find, how much time you would like to spend on each part of the research question and the different topics that you must cover. Research is an analytical task; you will not be able to productively go through 20 papers a day on a time crunch. Therefore, assign enough time to complete each of your tasks with ease. Keep the deadline in mind when designing the schedule. Always aim to finish your work at least two days before the actual deadline. This way, if there is an emergency, you can make up for it within the extra time.
There may be lots of journals on the topic that you need to research on. However, it is not possible to go through each of them. Therefore, you need to learn how to filter through journal papers and choose which papers will be useful for you. While a paper may be on your topic, it may not necessarily address the same issues that you are interested in. Thus, the best way to go about it is to read the abstracts. The abstract is a brief summary of the whole research paper found at the beginning of every research article. By reading it, you will easily be able to determine whether you need the paper or not. This will save you an enormous amount of time. Once you have set aside the papers that will be useful, you can then read those only.
Importance of keywords:
One of the biggest problems that students face is finding relevant papers to their topics. Your search methods can have a significant impact on the papers you find. Do not try to put the whole essay question or phrase on the search box. Since it is extremely unlikely that a paper exists with that exact title, you will not find relevant articles. Therefore, break up the question into topics or phrases. Under circumstances where you are trying to find information on two correlated factors, try to put them together on the search engine. This will enable the website to find papers that discuss both factors.
The main objective of conducting research is to find different views scholars have on an issue. Therefore, always make a point to find opposing views or discoveries of scholars and find out how they justify it. You will be able to understand a subject clearly only when you know all perspectives. For example, if your research topic is ‘Effects of training on employees’, you must investigate both the advantages of training as well as disadvantages. This will give you insight into the topic and find contingency approaches to address the research.
If you want more help, the University Libraries and Writing Development Centre have plenty of resources to help students improve their writing and research skills.