Doing research in science is not easy, nor does it come easily to everyone. There are many different types of scientific studies, with various levels of complexity. Even within one type of study, like an experiment, there are several steps that must be done properly or the results will not represent what was asked!
As scientist, you will probably have to do some amount of research during your career. This could be doing an experimental analysis, reviewing articles and papers about related topics, or even writing a paper based on current events or experiments run before.
The more involved the topic, the higher the level of research needed to achieve accuracy in findings. Luckily, as writers for this site we get to use our skills to help you out! In this article, I will go over some basic tips on how to do scientific research. You can read through these and refer back as necessary.
Duration: 2-3 minutes
This section talks about tools professional researchers use to find information. If you are reading this as an aspiring researcher then it may give you some ideas or resources for things you need.
There are two main categories here: web browsers and software designed to search through documents, files, and databases.
Make a schedule
Now that you have asked some questions, it is time to do some research!
After asking a question about something related to science, it is next to organize your thoughts and plan how to approach this information.
You should make a list of all of the possible ways that answer could relate to your question. Then, choose one idea at a time and stick to it until you find a solution or a break down of the topic.
This will take longer than rushing through ideas like a lightning bolt!
Planning ahead like this will give you more time to think about what steps need to be taken, and help you stay organized. Plus, there are few things better than staying awake long into the night thinking about an interesting concept.
Develop your research topic
Now that you have an idea for your research, it’s time to pick a specific area of science to focus on. You should spend some time defining what part of science you are interested in. This will help you choose which courses to take and whether or not to major in science is dependent upon how much emphasis schools give to this field.
For example, if you want to be a doctor then studying medicine is the best option. If you wanted to become a vet then veterinary school would be more appropriate. When choosing your academic path, think about what areas interest you and which ones look most promising.
You can also check out sites like The Best Colleges and Universities For Vet Medicine to see if there are any veterinary programs near you. Some offer online options as well!
There are many ways to approach picking your top choice. One way is to determine which fields seem most interesting by looking at past studies and experimenting with things related to them.
Choose a research location
Doing academic work is not easy, nor should it be! Choosing where you want to do your research will determine how well you do with what you choose to study.
It takes time to build up expertise in any field, including yours. So, don’t worry about choosing a topic that isn’t done yet — there’s always something new to learn!
Start by looking at the fields that have come before you and see what ideas people put into practice. Then, compare those practices against your own thoughts to figure out which ones seem like they could work for you.
Your success will depend heavily on your ability to identify important concepts and information in those areas, so make sure to check out such materials early on. When possible, try to visit some of the experts themselves – talk to students or professors to get a sense of what their workplace looks like and whether they enjoyed doing their job.
Try to be familiar with the area
Doing research in any field requires you to be very familiar with the areas that related study is part of. For example, studying psychology involves learning about different theories of psychology, how they relate to each other, and what disciplines use which theories as frameworks.
Studies show that students are discouraged when trying to do research due at least partly to confusion over just who studies what!
If you’re ever stuck, try to find resources in your school or community to help you. Many colleges have free online tools and services that can connect you to the right people and information. Or, ask a teacher if there are any good sources for this material they know of.
After you have determined your topic, it is time to start taking notes! Make sure to make note of important points, bullet point titles, and other key information such as examples and conclusions.
Once you are done taking notes, organize them into categories and file or store them properly. This will help you refer back to them later and increase your efficiency in studying.
And don’t forget to check out our article: how to take good notes! There, we discuss some tips that can help you do this efficiently.
Reference lists and bibliography sections play an integral part in scientific research studies. By being aware of the importance of these components, you will make sure not to overlook them when doing your own research.
Ask your expert advisor
One of the hardest things about doing research is knowing who to ask for help. You may know someone with an expertise you want to learn more about, or they might be able to direct you to someone else that can help you!
By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about how important it is to do systematic research – diving into specific topics and sources until you find what you are looking for.
But what if you don’t have a source yet? Or what if there’s no one around that you trust to be a good source?
The best way to figure out how to do research in science is by asking experts. You should never hesitate to ask for help because you assume someone closer to you knows something you don’t.
And while it may feel daunting at first, asking for help is a great way to start developing your knowledge base and academic skills.
Keep a diary
Doing research involves gathering lots of information, making notes, talking to people, and creating archives or collections using these materials. You can use your own ideas as templates for how to organize this archive, but it is important to be systematic and organized so you do not lose anything you want to keep.
Using our example above, once you are done exploring, start writing down what you learned about plants and their parts. Make note of things like whether there are health benefits or risks involved with certain plants, if they contain specific chemicals or substances, and which part of the plant played an important role in determining its effect.
You can also make sketches or take pictures of leaves, flowers, or other features of the plants to help remember more details. These could later be uploaded into computer software that compiles all this information so you can access it anywhere.
After organizing all of this material, either print out pages or save them online so you can refer back to them easily. Some ways to organize this archive include putting index cards or notes written on each page in order of importance, grouping similar documents together, and using bound notebooks or files to store different types of information.
Doing research involves taking lots of notes, talking to people, looking up information online, and gathering materials from various sources. If you’re trying to do some research, make sure you have enough paper and pen to take notes!
If you are doing some research for school, this can be even more difficult as you need to find adequate time to do it. You may not want to spend too much time on it because you will lose points if you don’t finish it within the allotted time.
In that case, start off by doing as little work as possible and see what you learn about the topic. Then, add one step at a time until you reach your goal. This way, you keep yourself focused and on track.