You're sitting in the library, your study, living room, office, or some other place where you can quietly accomplish your work. Everything is ready for beginning your research, but then there's this horrible realization: you don't know where to begin!  Another scenario is when you're writing consistently and then suddenly you hit a brick wall (not a real one hopefully because that would hurt).  You're confused about where to take your research next and have difficulty connecting everything together.  These obstacles are common when writing a research paper or journal article, they can be easily overcome.  These tips can help in avoiding certain research obstacles and help you complete your work efficiently.

 

1. Writer's block; you can't think of anything to write and now you're stuck. While sometimes people say they feel uninspired to write or 'just aren't feeling it', these can quickly get out of hand and prevent you from going back to work. An easy way to overcome it is to start work on another section of your paper and find a way to connect it to the remainder. Ex. you're having difficulty finishing the second paragraph in your introduction. Move onto the body of your work and then go back and see how you can connect them together.

 

2 Too many secondary sources; while it's important to have lots of primary sources, secondary sources are a little different. Citing works from other authors is important in historical research. It's helpful in seeing what others have written and how your work is related.  However, too many secondary works can bog down the focus of your research and cause confusion.  The amount of sources you include is open to opinion, but one guideline is to use what you know is necessary and then add more later if needed.

 

3. Repetition; after reading a few pages, it sounds like you're repeating yourself a lot. This is another common problem since it can become confusing for the reader. Just rewording repetitive phrases doesn't divert its original point so here's what you can do instead; mark or highlight where these phrases occur and see what other information can complement this and expand upon that. Repeating yourself can be counterproductive to your overall work.

 

There are many more obstacles you can encounter during your research, but everyone can face different kinds and overcome them in their own way. Hopefully these tips can help in solving some basic writing problems and get your research back on track!