An Open Letter to My Future Self For When I Do Research Again
Start writing a post
Student Life

An Open Letter to My Future Self For When I Do Research Again

Here's What I've Learned: Tips To Keep In Mind for Next Time

115
An Open Letter to My Future Self For When I Do Research Again
Pexels

Dear future Jesse, doing research,

Over the course of the past semester, I conducted student research. It's been quite a process, and I've had a bit of a learning curve to deal with as well. Obviously, I still don't know everything yet, and that's okay, but here are five quick tips I want you to remember.

First, don't worry about the word count. This semester, the minimum word count was 5,000 words without a maximum. I came up with 6,250 words without fluffing it up, so you'll be fine. Worry about the research and the paper, not the word count.

Second, do good background research, even if there's not a lot of background information to be found because your topic is horribly obscure. You will need it.

Third, spend time with your primary sources outside of strictly analyzing them. Don't just rush through the analysis and summary, hang out with the information for a while. Get to know the letters/papers/books/whatever. Really know your source material, preferably before you do the analysis.

Fourth, outline your paper before you write it. I know this is middle school level advice but do it. Also, segment out the paper; sub-headers are totally cool and help visually. It's probably going to become a lot of information, so break it up.

Finally, have the right kind of goals: defined, present, but not too specific. Your research question and thus your accompanying hypotheses will probably change. That's okay. Your original research question is where you start, not where you finish. It's perfectly fine to end up with work that's completely different from your original expectations.

This advice is all free, but I do have one request, future-researcher-Jesse: ask good questions, and seek great answers.

Sincerely,

Present-day, May 2018-Jesse Plichta-Kellar

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

74196
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

135042
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments