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Research Paper Writing Assistance: How To Analyze, Synthesize, And Evaluate

Before you can write a research paper you have to do the research. Essentially the research paper writing process takes two steps. Reading research materials and analyzing them to draw your conclusions and then the actual writing process. In many cases the research may take even more time than the writing. This is because you need to sort through all sorts of information and take notes about your findings. From these notes you need to evaluate and draw your ideas. This all needs to happen before you can even begin to write your thesis.

How To Analyze Research Materials

These days many students feel as if all they need to do is simply “Google” there research topic and all of the resource information that they need will just show up. Although, a “Google” search may give you some ideas for your paper it really does not provide you with sufficient materials to use for your writing assignment. This is because the information on the Internet can come from anywhere. It may not be from an official resource or verifiable source. This is bad especially when dealing with academic writing. There are certain rules that source materials must follow to be considered reliable research materials.

There are three easy ways to analyze research sources and determine whether or not they can be used for your research paper-writing project.

  1. Does it come from a recognized academic source or journal?
  2. Before you can use a research source for your paper you have to make sure it comes from an academic author or recognized journal. This includes other thesis papers, research reports, and academic dissertations. You can use newspapers and magazine articles as long as the author is recognized expert or cites their source of information. You must also verify this source.

  3. Is the author reliable?
  4. If you choose to use articles that you find in a newspaper, magazine or online journal then you must research the author and find out if they are a verifiable resource. If the author is merely relaying information that has been put forth by another source you must also investigate this source and make sure that it is accurate. It is a good rule to double-check that all sources can be twice verified. This will guarantee that you are properly analyzing the information before relaying it in your own paper.

  5. Is the information objective or someone’s opinion?
  6. Lastly, when determining whether a source is useable research material you must also consider the perspective of the writer. If they are taking a side or putting forth a specific opinion you typically do not want to use this as your research. Instead, look for academic sources that are verified in science or can be proven by fact. If you do choose to use someone else’s opinions as your research make sure that this is clearly stated in your writing as such.