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Do you have any good advice for getting started on a research project?

  1. Sep 22, 2014 #1
    I'm an engineering student. I have to create a 20 page research paper on a topic that is new to me. I have to hand it in in about 3.5 weeks. I looked at the initial papers that my supervisor recommended to me today. Maybe I'm insanely impatient but reading papers with tonnes of terms that I don't understand is immensely frustrating for me. I don't even have any interest in engineering any way (in my country you can't switch majors after starting them). And obviously academic papers are written for people who understand what's going on.

    Do you have any advice for getting started? My supervisor wants me to do a bit of original work as well, not just review. Do the initial stages of learning a new topic always come with a lot of head bashing against the desk until you understand?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2014 #2
    Can't switch majors? What country is that?

    Try to find something is even remotely interesting to you. And yes, the initial stages are tough because that's when you're most unfamiliar with any of the relevant terminology. But as you go on, you'll start to learn the terminology and understand the concepts that go with them. I'd suggest picking up an introductory textbook on the subject and reading at least the first few chapters to get some basic ground work.
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