A tutorial that will help you annotate your research


As a student who is going to have to write many essays, research papers or whatever, there are various skills which, if you acquire them, will greatly improve your ability to produce quality work. There's no doubt that being good at research will help you. It'll help you because you will get to the source material you need to create the essays you have to write. But the key here is how good at research are you?

You see some students don't have the technique or certain skills at research and while they get the end result eventually, they spend far more time doing the research than someone who knows exactly what they are doing. And this same principle applies in writing or annotating your research. The first thing is you need to be able to find the research material but equally as important, you need to know how to annotate the research you collect.


What is the system you will use?

Sure there will be some essays which do not have a large number of words but there will also be many which have a few thousand words. If you get to the pointy end of your academic career you will need to complete a thesis which of course will take weeks if not months or years to complete. So naturally your ability to do accurate and efficient research is vital.

But let's move to the next step. You've learned how to find out where the best research material is stored. You've learned how to access it. Now you have to annotate your research. This too is a vitally important skill.

To use an analogy of its importance, imagine going into a library and searching for one particular book but not having any sense of direction. You don't know if it's a fiction or nonfiction book. You don't know the title of the book or its author but you do know it's about a particular subject. Imagine how long that might take you to find the particular book. On the other hand if you knew the title of the book, the name of the author or authors, its publisher and the date of publication, you should be able to find that book in almost no time at all.

Fast forward to your preparation for writing an essay. You found a great deal of valuable research material. Now you need a system for annotating your research. If you know anything about basic software programs for word processing, you can take advantage of that knowledge. But think of your research as being placed into compartments. Think of the library which has a whole variety of sections. There are headings and then subheadings. Do the same in annotating your research. And the better your filing system, the easier it will be for you to refer back to your research and therefore the easier it will be for you to write your essays.

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