Before starting a research project, students can go through many of the strangest rituals. Avoiding black cats, knocking on wood and throwing salt over the left shoulder are only a few of them. Do you wonder how to start a research project? Superstitious students will readily give you tons of advice. But teachers and expert writers will give you thousands of reasons why you should not adopt any superstitious habits, but just focus instead on doing the work properly.
How to start a research paper: most popular superstitions
Meet the top 5 students’ superstitions on how to start research papers:
- Never ever begin a research paper on Friday the 13th. Even though the fear of “Friday the 13th” is already diagnosed as Paraskevidekatriaphobia, waiting for “the right moment” is still just a perfect excuse for procrastinating.
- Pay attention to your clothes and hygiene. Thus, wearing the same T-shirt (better if it is your lucky one), not shaving or not washing your hair until the paper is completed are common practices among students. Actually, if you do not mind looking like Robinson Crusoe after he spent a few years on a desert island, you can follow this tip, but it will not help with your paper.
- There are individuals who cross their fingers when they start a research project and when they turn it in. However, using a computer mouse and typing text with your fingers crossed is not easy at all.
- Some students believe that sleeping with a book under their pillows can be effective for absorbing knowledge from it. Sure, the intention to continue research while sleeping is praiseworthy. Yet encyclopedias under your pillows can cause discomfort. And it would be curious to see how students use articles from online databases for this purpose.
- Using the same pen for all exams is another popular belief. Even though it is hard to apply this superstition to the modern realities of computer report writing, you can use the same font for all of your papers (better if 12 Times New Roman or Arial). This tip is truly helpful.
How to start a research paper: the reality
Now let’s check the counterarguments of our experts on how to begin a research paper:
- Instead of postponing the beginning of your research process from Friday the 13th to Saturday the 14th, you should start your project as soon as possible. The day of week or month does not actually matter if you have plenty of time for careful planning and in-depth research.
- Instead of solving the dilemma of whether to wash or not to wash your hair, you should carefully plan all your daily activities. Our experts insist that the answer to the question “how to start a research project” is to allot enough time to your research and remove all types of distractions.
- As to crossing your fingers, the main thing is not to forget to uncross them. Seriously, you should make yourself comfortable and even make some stretching exercises when you are tired of sitting in the same posture. Make certain you have a comfortable chair and proper lighting.
- Regarding the absorption of knowledge from a book under your pillow at night, you should better concentrate on research during the day. Look through the course materials, browse college databases and look for reliable sources on the web. The latter include educational and governmental sites, as well as articles from scholarly or peer-reviewed online periodicals.
- As to using the same pen (or the same font as we have agreed in the previous section), you should pay proper attention to the format of your papers. Be sure to check your teacher’s guidelines for the font, spacing, margins and citation style you are supposed to use throughout your project. Then, consult a guide of the citation style you are going to use.
So, there are two different answers to the question how to start a research project. The first one is to eat a four-leaf clover, cross your fingers and wait for a miracle. The second one is more down to earth – make all the necessary preparations and carefully plan your investigation. We cherish hope that you will choose the second one.