Writing essays that are effective

Writing essays can be very frustrating and can be a very tedious process but it does not have to be. If you know and understand the process thoroughly, writing essays can be fun.

 Before you start writing essays have a clear idea on your research methodology

The method that you follow for writing essays is called research methodology. It involves a set of complex processes, from deciding the purpose of the research to arriving at the conclusion and presentation. This decided method depends on the topic, the objective and availability of data.

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 Define your research problem while writing essays

This is the key skill in writing essays. Unless the problem is clearly defined, the road ahead will be blurred. The reasons for conducting the research are to be decided and stated beforehand to avoid confusion in later stages. Example: Why are Airtel customers dissatisfied?

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 Set you research objective

This step further in defines the research problem in the process of writing essays. Perhaps it is to determine the effects of better offers to customers on the sales of the product in case of a marketing essay. Research objectives determined by the problem formulation, are set so that when achieved they provide the necessary information to solve the problem. Example, if Airtel offered free unlimited SMS, how much would the sales be effected?

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 Set research questions in the course of writing essays

What are the research questions that will help you clear your doubts? Prepare a general set of questions whose answers may help you arrive at a conclusion ultimately.

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 Select information types

Here, you decide between the primary research and secondary research. Primary research will help you achieve your goals better and the results are more accurate. Secondary data is also important. It acts as a support system. Accurate weight age is to be given to both, in some cases, primary data is more important, whereas in some others, secondary data out-does primary data.

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 Select correct sources while writing essays

Select the sources of such research methods, i.e., primary and secondary. Will a questionnaire method help understand the problem better than the interview method? Are newspapers more reliable than websites, or do websites contain more of the latest information? . For example, to understand problems in Airtel so as to make it better, questionnaire method is more suitable, since its customer base is very large and interview method is a waste. To understand the employee problems in ford, interviews are more suitable.

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 Develop question methods

Put the question in final, precise words. This is for the ultimate respondent, so they should be simple and clear. Complicated questions make them uncomfortable. Next, decide the medium through which data is to be collected. For example, internet or telephone? Face to face interviews or observation method? Factors like suitability of respondent is also to be considered, like a senior citizen would generally not understand the latest internet developments, so he would prefer to be interviewed personally.

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 Data collection

How will you collect the data? Generally, students are given the job of getting questionnaires filled, whereas more experienced individuals are used for interview method. Sharp minds are needed for observation method.

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 Clean the acquired data

The job is not done on collection of data. After it is collected, it needs to be sorted into useful and waste. This is the process of checking the raw data to verify that the data has been correctly entered into the files from the data collection form.

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 Analyze the data

Data can be analyzed after it is interpreted and decoded. This is the process of assigning all response categories a numerical value. For example males = 1, females = 2. In case of interviews, everyone has different opinions about a certain topic. Each respondent’s perspective needs to be taken into consideration in case of small sample size (interviews of less than 10 people). If the number is more, the common traits are to be highlighted.

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 Note final findings while writing essays

The final, analyzed data are to be noted. The noted data should be such that it can be understood in written form, too. Clear-cut words are to be used.

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 Present final data

The last step in research methodology is the presentation of data. When the analyzed data are put in attractive words, they are ready for presentation.

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Abhinash Jena

Partner at Project Guru
Abhinash has worked in sales, branding, and marketing functions for GPS companies including MapmyIndia Navigators (www.MapmyIndia.com). In addition to writing for Knowledge Tank articles, he also writes the expert's advice for Thesis & Dissertations and Power Designs.

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