5 Best Tips of Organizing Your Research and Data Gathering Process When Writing a Thesis

Data gathering is an integral part in all research. The quality of your paper and experiments depends on the quality of the data you collect. This means that one of your main tasks when writing any kind of paper is to organize the research process with outmost efficiency.

The following tips will help you with your organization:

  1. Always start with a detailed analysis of your question.
  2. This will take a bit of your time, but the increase in research efficiency will be substantial. When you do this, you will know exactly what to look for. Thus, there will be no time wasted on perusing sources that cannot answer the immediate question. Write a list of key points to make sure that you don’t miss anything important.

  3. Organize your notes while making them.
  4. Sorting through your notes will be much easier if you organize them in an efficient manner right away. Use the key point plan as a basis to color-code the notes. This way, you will be able to mark them immediately. It’s also important to store them in the order you will need to use them in. There is some specialized bibliographic software that can make note-taking much more efficient than simply writing them down in a notebook.

  5. Build a “network” in your mind.
  6. The most efficient way to organize your data gathering process is to single out the core concept of your work, and build a virtual network around it. This will help you link various ideas you have at the initial stages of the research and sort them by relevance.

    When taking notes, this concept can be used in the form of highlighting key words and ideas, and searching specifically for authors that support the same position.

  7. Building a linear research plan.
  8. If you are uncomfortable working with mind networks, you should try a more direct approach. Try building a plan that will corresponds with the sections of your future paper, and focus your research on one point at a time.

    The trick to this method is to make yourself stop when you gather enough information for a paragraph instead of collecting an essay’s worth of data every time.

  9. Differentiate between notes and your own comments.
  10. When taking notes, you will need to develop a method to keep the quotations (direct or indirect) and your comments separate. However, to be more efficient they need to be stored together. You can try writing them in different color inks to make the necessary distinction.