Starting your information technology research papers

The beginning phase of a research paper is perhaps the most important part of the process, so starting your IT research paper off on the right foot is essential. The most important points to consider are choosing a good area of study, writing a strong thesis statement, and remaining on task and organized in your research and writing.

Choosing a Good Subject Area

Before trying to narrow it down to a topic, brainstorm the subject matter you’ll enjoy researching. Make a list of five different topics you enjoy reading about and studying. Then, think about more specific areas of study within those topics. Consider recent research topics in those areas, and whether you can come up with a new angle.

Writing a Strong Thesis

A strong thesis statement is absolutely critical to getting your information technology research paper off to a good start. You’ll need to choose something that’s specific and researchable—in order to defend your thesis, you’ll need to be able to find material or do original research that addresses the questions it poses. A topic you can’t adequately defend will leave you frustrated.

Remain On Task and Organized

The research portion of the project shouldn’t be difficult, but it’s where many students falter after getting off to a strong start. You can avoid these pitfalls with these tips:

  • Set firm deadlines

    Don’t do things based solely upon the deadlines set by your instructor. Set your own deadlines ahead of schedule, so you can remain focused. Set specific deadlines for each stage of your research, outline, and writing.

  • Keep your notes organized

    Categorize your notes based on the arguments to support your thesis, and keep those categories organized. If you do, creating your outline will be a very simple matter.

  • Maintain a comprehensive list of sources

    Don’t fall into the habit of writing a source down on a slip of paper and keeping it in your notebook. Keep an updated list of all of your sources at all times. Many students underestimate the amount of time citing their references will take, and keeping your list updated will cut down on that time significantly.

Create a detailed outline

As you do your research, also make notes regarding the outline of your paper. When it comes time to finally create your outline, you’ll be prepared.

Following these guidelines will ensure that your information technology research paper starts off strong.

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