How It Pays to Get an ‘A’

Posted by on August 23, 2013

Recently, criminal justice degree student, Jennifer Severs, was tasked with an assignment to write a research paper for her Minnesota School of Business-Online class. What she may not have realized at the time was how this paper would eventually lead to her receiving a $100 Amazon gift card for her excellent research and writing skills!

So how’d she do it? Check out the dialogue below for a student’s perspective on how to maximize your research and writing skills.

What is your best advice for other students who are doing research?

The best advice I could give other students who are doing research is to know your topic well and utilize information that supports your theories.  Also, use information that is credible or your entire paper will lose credibility.

Were there any tips you learned that would have made writing your paper easier?

If I could write this paper again, I would have prepared myself more.  By preparing myself, I mean that I would have taken more time to do my research and organized my thoughts better.  It would have saved me a lot of time on the revision process.

What was the most important thing you learned during your research paper writing experience?

The most important thing I learned while doing research is that even though I may have found a source that agrees with me, it does not make that source reliable.  When using sources online you have to ensure that they are worthy.  I always try to ask myself these questions:  Who wrote the information?  How credible is this person?  Why did they write this information?  Usually by answering these questions I can determine if it is a source I want to use or not.

Is there a particular resource that was the most useful during your research?

Definitely the library. I used to be a “Google fanatic” but not everything is from an academic source.  By using the library, I know my sources are reliable and it can save time by not having to sort out sources.

Walk us through your research process:

To begin research for a paper I try to read as much as possible about the topic so that I have an idea of what information I want to include in my paper.  For this particular paper there was a wide variety of information that I wanted to cover.  I always start with the Online Library and type my main topic ideas in and run a search.  From this point, I was able to read the sources and decide which ideas best support the paper I am writing.  I like to write a bubble outline with my topic ideas and branch out the information I would like to cover.  Throughout my research process I write down sources that are relevant to my theory to be reviewed a final time.  In the end, I create a formal outline with the material I have found to use as a guide for writing my paper.

If you’d like to read Jennifer’s award winning paper on juvenile delinquency and sports, or submit one of your “A” grade papers for a chance at $100 Amazon gift card, check us out HERE.


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