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Research for an Excellent Essay: Complete Guide


Every student wants to know the secret to writing a good essay. Many focus on the writing stage itself without knowing that the part that precedes it is just as crucial. We’re talking about the preparation stage aka conducting a research for materials that you’ll use in the paper. Preparing for an essay, you create the foundation on which you can build a great piece of writing. Strong foundation means strong essay so here’s what you need to do to prepare for an essay.

Plan Ahead

You’re likely to get your assignment weeks before the due date, and that’s when you need to start working. Research might take a lot more time than writing so make sure you have some time to spare. How much you need depends on your knowledge in the given topic, and if you know that you have some information gaps, try to fill them in at the very beginning. You never know what information you’ll encounter while preparing so it’s a good idea to start in advance.


The first thing you need to do is to sit down and brainstorm what you already know about the topic. Write down everything that comes to your mind and don’t care about editing it. Then read through your notes and pay attention to what vital information is missing. When you do the research, this will help you to focus on specific points and not waste time on reading the things you know over and over again.

Get Basic Understanding

If the result of your brainstorming showed that you don’t know much about the topic, set everything aside and learn the most basic things about it first. You won’t be able to write an essay concerning a specific part of a wider issue if you’re not familiar with the issue in general. Luckily, for this step you don’t need to look for complex sources, even Wikipedia can do the job.

Take Notes

Taking notes while preparing for an essay is absolutely crucial. It’s impossible to memorize everything you’ll read and you definitely don’t need all that information. Taking notes will help you to organize all new important materials and make sure you don’t have to go back to that one page just to find some references. Another useful tip is to write down ideas in your own words. Thus, you won’t need to change them later when writing the essay.

Research All Sides

You might get excited when you find one great argument you can use but first check its strength from all sides. Never rely on only one source, remember that the chance of bias is always present so it’s necessary to check all information you receive. Make sure you have enough arguments to prove the idea and that all of them are true and can be backed up with evidence if needed.

Finally, be wary of online resources. You can use them, but it’s always good to check the background of the sites you cite. Following these five tips will already build a strong foundation for your essay.

01Dec, 2017