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How to Write a Research Essay on an Unfamiliar Topic

how to write a research essaySooner or later any student faces the task of writing an essay on a topic he or she doesn’t know anything about. Although it is a tough task no matter what kind of essay it is, the problem may be somewhat alleviated in case the essay in question is a research essay – because its very nature presupposes that you find out more about the topic in the very process of composing your paper. It, of course, helps if you have at least some inklings of what you are supposed to write about, but it is quite possible that your tutor has given you this task knowing that you are unfamiliar with the topic – for the sole purpose of teaching you how to do research.


Before You Start Writing: Studying Research Essay Examples

Practice makes perfect; nobody is going to argue against this maxim. But how are you supposed to practice if you have no idea what to begin with? You may be even familiar with theoretical aspect of research essay writing, but without ever seeing such an assignment completed by someone else you will hardly be capable of writing something along the same lines yourself. That is why it is a good idea to look for research essay examples before trying to write something on your own. You should, however, remember that there are a lot of essay databanks on the Internet, but not all of them are equally helpful. Some contain papers of extremely poor quality, often written by people who themselves have no idea of what they are doing and the standards they are supposed to use. These materials, of course, shouldn’t be used for reference. But how to find out which resources contain essays of sufficient quality? Unfortunately, in most cases the only way to filter out the second-rate sources is to get recommendations from the people you trust.


A Sample Topic – Writing an Essay on Breast Cancer

So, let’s say you have to write on this rather unpleasant topic. The first thing you should understand is that, essentially, research essays have a lot in common with argumentative ones, simply with a much greater emphasis on facts, statistics and personal research done as a part of the process of writing. It means that you have to determine the point you are going to support, and then do some research, looking for the information supporting your thesis. Of course, if you don’t know much about the topic in question, you will hardly be able to write something really profound, but still, you don’t want to repeat someone else’s thoughts too blatantly. Luckily, writing an essay on breast cancer leaves you a lot of freedom. You may try and prove a connection between certain lifestyle choices and the likelihood of breast cancer development, or study the rates of this disease in different decades of this and the previous centuries. In other words, choose whatever you like – just make sure you can find enough facts supporting your point.

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