How to Do Research for a Paper or Project

Spring break is over and summer is looming in the near future. Now is the time to really buckle down and finish the year strong. Part of having a successful experience at college prep boarding schools is knowing how to research.

You know how to study for tests, but what about those research papers? You need to be able to go out into the world and gather information instead of just regurgitation information from your lectures. Research is vital in college.

However, the skill of doing research should be learned well before you ship out to college. Any of the good college prep boarding schools will make sure students know this vital skill before they enroll in college.

Research Tip #1: Google It

Plain and simple. However, Googling a topic is hardly considered “research.” That comes into play as you sift through the hundreds of search results. If the results aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, try adjusting your search terms.

Make sure you are checking for credibility. There is a lot of twisted information out there. That’s just the nature of the Internet. Try sticking to well-known and credible publications. Is the website citing its sources?

Go check those out. If you aren’t sure if a website is credible, ask a teacher, as you communicate you will start getting a hang of what is credible and what isn’t.

Research Tip #2: Go to the Library

Going to the library can seem old fashion, but it’s still a viable research tool. Most colleges and college prep boarding schools have enormous libraries. Believe it or not, there is a plethora of information in books that can’t legally be published on the Internet for free because of copyright laws.

Go to the library, ask the librarian where the books on your topic are and pick out a few. Spending a few hours at the library skimming through books is a great way to get a broad understanding of your research topic. Check out a couple of the more relevant books and read them more in-depth during your study time.

Research Tip #3: Ask for Help

If you are contemplating a certain topic, but you aren’t sure where to go with it, or even what to start researching, ask for help. Start with your teacher.

Take advantage of that. Teachers at Wasatch Academy give one-on-one attention to students, helping them extensively to successfully complete assignments and projects.

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