This student, a political science major in her third year at Hunter College, described her process in writing a research paper for her U.S. Foreign Policy course. Her first step when starting to work on her paper was to review her class notes to help her start thinking about a topic. She also found it helpful to talk with her sister as she worked through possible topic ideas:
“I actually talked to my sister. Like, she’s studying pharmacy so she wouldn’t know, but personally I’m someone who wants to talk about it. So, I was talking to my sister just getting my ideas out because when I talk to someone I get a better understanding, like, do I even make sense? Am I, you know, proving my point? And as I was talking to her she told me, like, ‘Oh, I don’t understand what you mean.’ And ‘Oh, I think this is a good example.'”
After settling on a topic, this student continued on to the research and writing of her paper. Before handing it in to her professor, she took the extra step of seeking out peer-review from several friends:
“So, I basically wrote it, and I would go back and edit some paragraphs and then I would just continue writing, and then I would have my friends actually check it. Like, I had three different friends check it. […] I printed three copies, they kept it and then they gave it back to me and then I rewrote it.”
This student noted that the friends she asked to read her paper were not in her class, and while one was also a political science major, the others were not. She told us that she appreciated the feedback that her friends shared and felt that it made her final paper stronger.