Simple Tips To Start Including Research And Facts In Your Writing
Writing is a challenging task that always involves some form of research. Whether it be for a school assignment, a research paper, or a Crunch article (wink), research is an imperative part of the process. In this age of technology, a plethora of information is accessible to us at all times. We all know of the multitude of facts and stats out there on the Internet. Having all of this at our fingertips, we should keep in mind some tips on how to make full use of that information when writing.
1. Give Yourself Time
Anyone who has worked on a research paper would know how time-consuming research can be. Scouring the Internet for relevant information, reading through journal articles, and skimming books to find the best points… All of this takes up a huge chunk of time. With this in mind, allotting ample time for research will be the way to go. Giving ourselves enough time to do research allows us to get hold of essential information without feeling overwhelmed. This is a sure-fire way to ensure that we won’t be grasping at straws for any relevant information at the last minute.
2. Keep Track of Sources
Having the best quote but not being able to find the source is a serious pain in the behind! After reading about twenty articles, searching a dozen websites, and scanning at least three books, it can be difficult to keep track. How can we possibly find where that specific quote came from? Easy—if we have a record of all our sources.
Now, I understand that it’s a tedious task to jot down every single source. However, it is crucial to do so. It doesn’t have to be a physical list; we just have to make sure that every interesting quote that we copy and paste has a reliable source. Creating a separate document for sources can help as all the facts and quotes will be in one place! Keeping a record of our sources guarantees that we wouldn’t find ourselves wasting hours on end looking for the source of any chosen fact.
3. Know Your Enemy
While we write a piece to convince readers of our main point or thesis, we are also responsible for looking at both sides of the argument. Aside from researching works that support your main idea, we also have to look up the opposing point of view! This allows us to strengthen our argument while opening our minds to another perspective. While writing my research essay for History class, I had to explore both pros and cons to write a convincing essay that supports my thesis. Including conflicting ideas and demonstrating the capability to refute them helps to authenticate the main point of the essay. Similarly, presenting evidence to rebut opposing views increases the level of credibility. Not only does the piece get its point across to readers successfully, but it’s also able to stand on its own even in the face of a counterargument.
4. Only the Best
We have done our research, recorded down our sources, and understood all sides of the argument. Now, it’s time to pick what to include in our writing. To go about this, we should pick the facts and quotes that best support our main idea. While filtering down the list, we have to eliminate anything that goes against our thesis. When unsure, it’s advisable to exclude it because we only want facts that we can depend on 100% to use as proof.
The purpose of using research in our writing is to showcase a tenable perspective. To write a powerful piece about the dangers of climate change, we have to pull out solid research to fully convince the readers. An example of that would be ‘“The Greta Effect” has caused the establishment of the Climate Emergency Fund that supports nearly 40 organizations’. This is better than a general fact like ‘Teenage activist, Greta Thunberg has inspired philanthropists and investors to donate.’
5. Find the Balance
When getting down to it and writing the piece, we have to ensure that we don’t go into a factual overload. Facts are the key to proving our main point. However, a piece filled with only facts and nothing else is ineffective and fruitless! Therefore, we must find a balance between the facts and our own writing. To do this, we can follow some kind of writing format as a guide on how to structure our piece. Personally, I used the PPA format to help me keep things in check.
For the Point, it is the answer to the “Why” question to our main idea. For example, if the main idea is “The death penalty should be abolished” and a Point can be “It is an unethical and irreversible form of punishment”.
This is where all the research comes in: facts, quotes, and statistics. The Proof backs your Point and it’s how you know your Point is true. For the example above, the Proof can be something like “Since 1973, more than 160 prisoners in the US were sent to death row and have later been exonerated or released from death row on grounds of innocence”.
Here, we explain how our Proof helps to develop your main point and explains your Point. An example would be “The most ethical way forward is to put an end to a punishment that causes the death of innocent lives.”
At present, we are living in an unprecedented time where we have access to a sea of digitalized information. In fact, doing research is possible even in the comfort of our own homes. For this reason, we should take advantage of all this information and try our best to fully utilize it when writing. To put it another way, anyone can use research and facts in their writing. But, not everyone can make full use of it.