Posted: July 11, 2016
How to Use Creativity for Writing the Research Paper
Very Interesting …
When it comes to your list of fascinating and memorable pieces of reading - books, magazine articles, blogs and so on, the chances are that a research paper is probably not figuring too highly in the list. Research paper tend to be dry, focused and very detailed - which is as it should be.
It cannot hurt, though, to make some effort to be a little creative and different in your writing. This is particularly true when it is time to write up that dreaded research paper.
Think about it … How many times does your examiner see the same old thing? The same old layout, the same old way of putting things? Sure, there are guidelines and rules - as there should be - but, there are some things that you can do to make your work more interesting and varied too.
“Thinking outside the box” is a term that we have all come to know very well, and although the primary use for this originated in business, it can be applied equally to the type of research assignment that you have to complete as well.
Make A Difference
We are going to look at a few ways to “spice up” your research project, but, do bear in mind the fundamental attitude of your college when trying out some of our suggestions. Some are more conservative than others, and you may well find that you are constrained in your imaginative outgoings by the practicalities of having to produce a paper that ticks the boxes of the more staid members of your own, particular institution.
It is far easier to push the boundaries in subjects like art and languages, for instance, than it is to do the same for - say - chemistry or math. Although this is rather stating the obvious, it is pointless producing a radical paper, only to find that it is not accepted or marked down because of its presentation or content.
Making A Change
Making a change should be something that you are constantly aware of throughout the time of completing your research project. In looking at other work and previous reports, summaries and conclusions, you should have been able to come up with some ideas as to what is missing from these efforts. This could be because the research itself did not go far enough, or, because the write up did not put certain observations and points across too clearly - in a way which led the reader towards further research or reading, for example.
By this, we mean that your project should stimulate others to look further; in the same way that the projects and papers you looked at spurred you to find out more, and look into, and read up on, your area of interest, more deeply.
Whilst on the subject of changes - one of the most challenging things about writing any research paper are the, seemingly, endless revisions and edits of the text and layout. Although this is difficult, it can be made a lot more interesting - fun even - by trying out different ways of saying things. For example; you may be trying to explain how something works, and it is not, well … working. Try what we did there, and add some different punctuation to liven it up - put something in a way which comes across as unusual while retaining the necessary levels of knowledge and intellect.
Imagine a panda, in the midst of a herd of zebra - it would stand out and look different and, to a degree, (no pun intended) that is what you need to do too. Add some humour or amusing observations to your notes to liven them up - we are not looking for biting satire here; just something to lighten the tone of the piece - a smile, rather than a belly laugh!
Altering the direction, too, helps. Again, if you are describing how something works; try explaining, instead, why it works, or where it works instead. This may well lead to new insights and observations which can add some spice to your “how” description.
Instead of using the same old references and texts, try approaching the subject from a different angle. For example, if you were doing a project on salmon population levels in rivers - have a look at the methods used to transport artificially introduced alevin, fry, parr and smolt, to augment the numbers in the river. Now the chances are that you had to look up some of those - see what we mean!
The Writing Is Key - Always
Another idea is to try to write for different audiences and age groups. As you are writing just imagine a group of elderly people or a group of rock climbers or pilots - anything other than the examiner - this may well give you a new insight into how to explain or to word something in an entirely different way to that which you had been planning.
Above all - have fun with your assignment - life is way too short to put up with unreadable, dry, boring research papers.
Stop trying to be someone else and be real with your audience. Different is good. Different stands out. Different will get you noticed - and read - oh, and grades!
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