Always Have a Purpose

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"Think about the purpose of your research. You may not know exactly what you are 'fishing for' when you start to take notes, for you cannot prejudge what your essay will contain" (Roberts 266).

While reading through this section, I came across the line above that was a nice reminder to me when writing a research paper that you need to go broad at first and then weed out what you don't want. It's always better to have a lot of material in the beginning so you're not scrambling at the end of your paper trying to get the required page amount later. Also, if you find yourself finding more research on a topic you hadn't originally thought about doing, you can always change your thesis statement or topic to focus more on the information you've found. This can be a good technique, too, if you have no idea what you want to talk about in a paper or just have a general idea of where you want to go for the main part of the paper.

3 Comments

Aja Hannah said:

Yea. I always forget this point when I start a paper. I try to figure out what I want to write without really researching and then researching only what I think I want to write and miss all this other great info. Then again, I don't want to write about what everyone else has written about because I feel it's just too easy or it's already been proven.

Melissa Schwenk said:

Aja, I always feel conflicted about that, too. I don't want to do something everyone else has already done, but at the same time you kind of have to in order to find research for your paper. However, I like when I find something in my research that I didn't expect to that takes my paper in a totally different direction.

Dianna Griffin said:

I like the topic you picked out. I have gone into a research many times with a topic, but I don't really have a purpose. There is a huge difference there. If I don't know the reason behind my research, then I don't really have a drive to do it. Without a purpose, I have no paper.

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