At one point in engineering school, engineering students will have to do research work. Whether it’s a short research paper on a certain topic, or extensive research for your graduation thesis. So here are some tips to help students master basic research skills that will help you organize and use the information you have gathered into a well written research paper.
The first step in writing a research paper is to create a schedule that is divided into different sections. You will have to make sure that the division of sections are realistic and can be accomplished by a specific date.
Check Wikipedia’s References
Wikipedia is only a good source for an OVERVIEW of your topic. It’s a great place to start your research, and here’s a trick. To get even deeper on your topic, go to the bottommost part of the wikipedia page and check their references. It will include books and websites on the topic that verifies the contents of that certain Wikipedia page.
Take Note Of Bibliographies
Like I said earlier, Wikipedia has a lot of references where you can find good reading sources for your topic take note of these sources. Also, once you’ve found a good book or essay on your topic, you can check on the end and there will be a list of a lot of sources that you can look up for further research.
Have a Research Question in Mind
When you choose a research topic, always have a question in mind. This will give your research more purpose because you are trying to answer a question. For engineering topics, we usually check the feasibility of a certain method, or material. We want to test if this will improve a current product, or current practice.
Know Your Resources
Get to know where you get your data–online and offline. Does your research need periodicals? Find out what your school or city library can offer. Befriend the research librarian, and learn how to use your academic databases.
Ask for Help
No man is an island. Make use of the human resources that is available to you. Ask recommendations and advice from your university professors.
Check the date
Make sure your sources are up to date. It’s alright to use older material, but make sure most of your sources are up to date.