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How to research for General Paper essays?

The problem with general paper and a need for a research

General Paper doesn’t have a textbook; neither does it have an elaborate syllabus. The topics given in the syllabus are suggestion only and these are not exactly the content of the syllabus. Perhaps, this is why it is called general paper, and not specific paper! Thus, without specific guidelines and syllabus it’s obvious for you to get frustrated about what to read, how to get the educational materials, how to get better grades in exams, etc. In this article I will try to soothe your frustration by explaining you what and how to research for GP essays to get relevant content, facts and examples.

First, let us know about the basics of research. You don’t have to do it formally and regularly but considering certain aspects could reduce much of your headache and deliver you with better results. Below,

How to optimize web search?

Everyone agrees that, the Internet is a huge source of information which is available at any time.  However, the problem with this is how to extract just the required information and avoid all the irrelevant results. This type of problem is termed as information overload. To do away with this is quite difficult but, you can learn how to perform advanced search and read these tips, to optimize and refine the search to get more relevant results. Also determining the quality and authenticity of the information source is another way which helps you to reduce information overload and is discussed in the next page.

What to research?

The topics presented in the syllabus can help you get started. Since, most of these topics are less specific (general) and you need more specific (particular) topics you just don't get what to research. For example, the first topic on the syllabus is ‘The role of history and war; terrorism’. What would you search with this topic? This topic is very broad because history = history of (the USA + the UK + Germany + Japan + China + Russia + all other countries) and war = (all the wars fought within and among the countries including the great World War I & II). And terrorism, related to war and other form of violence, is a broad topic too. What to search? Therefore, you need to narrow down your topics into simple subtopics to make your research more efficient and effective.

How to narrow down the topics and simplify research?

As you learned above that broad topic create more problem and confusion you should break these broad topics into simpler ones. First of all, search information on the broad terms which will help you get subtopics on which you can search more to find out the subtopics of subtopics. For example, you could get various results when searching for history, war, or terrorism. From these you could learn about Vietnam War or the World War. Now, search again for these terms to know more about them. And in case if you find more subtopics, which seem to be important as well as interesting, you can search on them as well. In this way, you can narrow down your search.

Sources of Information

You might be unware of all the sources of information and thus getting depressed. You can give a look on this page to discover which sources of information are appropriate for you and which are not.

How to avoid irrelevant and unnecessary information?

However, you should learn to omit the unnecessary information to avoid information overload because there are a lot of texts even on a single sub-topic of a broad topic and reading all of them is neither possible nor necessary. Therefore, determining the quality, relevance and validity of the information source is extremely important which is explained here in detail.

Some more Tips

When you perform research with a purpose you can make notes of what to research and what you found out from a research. Also you can keep a journal or diary regularly and this will also make you more aware about where, when and how to research. A good research skill develops gradually and you should perform research continuously to be able to search and get information about a particular topic more quickly.


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