Choo.choo
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Hi

I wanted to tell you about my research strategy and whether or not there is a better/more effective way to go about it

I get about 10-12 books from the library
Read and take notes from every chapter of every textbook
Look to see where the authors agree and where they differ

This strategy takes absolutely ages - far too long in fact - and I was wondering if anyone could suggest a better way please
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gutenberg
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(Original post by Choo.choo)
Hi

I wanted to tell you about my research strategy and whether or not there is a better/more effective way to go about it

I get about 10-12 books from the library
Read and take notes from every chapter of every textbook
Look to see where the authors agree and where they differ

This strategy takes absolutely ages - far too long in fact - and I was wondering if anyone could suggest a better way please
Well firstly, which subject are you studying? The advice below would be mainly tailored for someone doing a humanities-type degree.

Reading 10-12 books cover to cover per topic sounds like a lot I will say. A more effective strategy would be to work out before you start reading what exactly you want to learn from that book, and you'll find that usually you don't have to read every chapter. Not reading a book in its entirety isn't cheating, it's being effective and efficient in your research. So if you're reading for a seminar, or for an essay, you'll know you want information on X usually - so consult the chapter titles and the index to see which parts of the book are most useful to you. Read the introduction, as typically these will outline what each chapter is about, and will often summarise the book's main argument, meaning you can focus on the chapters that are most relevant.

Search for journal articles on your topic and read those alongside the relevant parts of books. Journal articles are usually much shorter and quicker to read, especially versus reading an entire book, and often provide helpful summaries of the main arguments surrounding a topic. If you wanted to delve deeper then, use their footnotes and references to find not just other books/articles, but also which sections of books are most relevant.

Being critical in your reading is vital, and it sounds like you are trying to do that in comparing arguments etc. Continue to do that, but try to be more efficient in how you approach books and other resources.
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Choo.choo
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Can anyone suggest a strategy to get into the 2.1 bracket?
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gutenberg
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Mate, didn't you receive feedback from your lecturers about the essays? Their comments will be much more valuable than anything some random person posts, if they even have time to read your stuff.
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Choo.choo
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I didn't mention I am doing Business Management. I am really just looking for some advice on Academic Writing. Shouldn't you use academic sources to guide your responses to assignment questions? At the university I go to inclusion of academic sources is worth 40% of the marks and the other 40% for your own input.
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Klix88
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(Original post by Choo.choo)
Hi

I wanted to tell you about my research strategy and whether or not there is a better/more effective way to go about it

I get about 10-12 books from the library
Read and take notes from every chapter of every textbook
Look to see where the authors agree and where they differ

This strategy takes absolutely ages - far too long in fact - and I was wondering if anyone could suggest a better way please
1) Don't read/annotate every chapter of a book if you're researching a specific piece of coursework. Skim the Table of Contents and only read chapters which appear relevant to the question you're answering. Only take notes on those paragraphs which are relevant to the question.

2) Learn how to use academic journals. An academic paper in a journal is a few pages long and is likely to be much more current than books (which can take years to get into print). Journals will be available on paper from your library, and online via your library access. If you're canny, you can sometime research entire bits of coursework without leaving your own sofa! Also, journal papers can sometimes result in rebuttals/responses, which are a great way of building academic discussion into your work.

3) Use your library access to use e-books instead of the paper versions, where they are available. You can use keyword searches which will take you directly to paragraphs which might be relevant to your question.
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