A Guide to Doing Your Research
Doing a research project of your choice is very exciting. Unlike essays and assignments
where the topic is given to you, you can choose (with guidance from you tutor) what you will
investigate. However, it is important that you choose wisely as the last thing you want is to
find that there is too much or too little information on your topic. Also you need to be sure that
the topic really interests you, otherwise it will turn into a real chore! This leaflet will guide you
through the important things to consider when doing your research project such as managing
your time, choosing your topic, making notes and finally doing the all important write-up.
It might seem like a long time between now and the hand-in date but the sooner you start the
easier it will be. Try and have a structured approach to your project. Have a look at these
Make a timetable: work out the times every week that you have spare to devote to
your project (including research, making notes, writing the final draft). Try to maintain this
so that you will get used to working at these times and it will become a part of your week.
Choose a regular place to study: by working in the same place you will associate it
with studying. This could make it easier for you to get down to it when the time comes.
Obviously make sure you choose a quiet place!
Know when to take breaks: don’t stop before you’ve got into it, or it will be harder to
go back! Also try to stop at a part you are working well at, as this will make it easier for
you to return. Don’t stick rigidly to breaks (say every 30 minutes) as you might be in full
flow and will ruin your momentum.
Ask yourself 3 important questions:
What am I interested in?
You are going to be putting a lot of work into this so it is important that you are enthusiastic
about it. Don’t just choose a topic that sounds good; make sure you think it through properly.
What do I already know about it?
Having some general idea