It is inevitable. If you enroll in college and plan on graduating, at some point you will be required to write a research paper. In addition to standard English Composition classes, research papers are often assigned in Psychology, Sociology, and Ethics classes (to name a few), as well as in many business and other degree-related courses. Contrary to popular belief, these papers are not assigned for the sole purpose of making a student's life difficult. (Ask any college instructor who grades dozens of research reports each term; students are not the only ones who find this type of assessment challenging and time consuming!) So, for the sake of this article--and the goal of reaching graduation--let's look at research reports for what they are . . . a 'necessary evil.'
When most students receive their class syllabi and see the research report assignment for the first time, their reaction consists of an overall feeling of dread, most-likely accompanied by a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach. Because writing such a report is not anywhere near the top of their "list of things I want to do", students often put the assignment off until the very last minute, then spend several late nights struggling to get it written and submitted on time. This approach is not unlike ignoring a cavity in your back molar. By putting it off until it can no longer be ignored, the dreaded task becomes much more painful than it needs to be.
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