Mattie’s Guide to Defeating the Research Paper

Mattie Bruton

Certainly you’ve heard tell of it: the mythical beast that your high school teachers all told you you would have to face in college. The dreaded creature whose name is spoken in a shaking whisper lest its wrath be invoked. That fanged, scaly, wild eyed destroyer of worlds and first-year dreams… the research paper.

The good news is that research papers, while they can be intimidating, are really not that bad and almost never devour you whole. In fact, there is actually, I’ve discovered, something kind of exhilarating and, dare I say it, fun about exploring a topic that genuinely interests you.

The first step in slaying the dragon of your research paper is to find a topic that you are passionate about, which luckily is not at all hard at a place like Transy. When it comes time for you to write your paper, your professor will encourage you to think outside the box rather than selecting a cut-and-dry topic. And because of our small class sizes, your professor can work with you personally to find a topic that resonates truly with you and your life.

For the next leg of your research paper quest, you will want to certainly begin at the library. No need for sword or armor, oh adventurer of academia,  Transylvania’s excellent, streamlined library database system is the only tool you’ll need.

Can’t find what you need among the 118,00 physical titles? Don’t despair, because there are 111,000 more titles online in Transy’s ebook library. If you find yourself needing even more resources (you intrepid scholar, you) then there tens of thousands more resources available through a plethora of online journals and databases to which Transy subscribes, and even more can be found through the Kentucky Virtual Library. And if you ever get exhausted mid-research binge, then it’s a good think that the library is connected to Jazzman’s Cafe, for all those caffeine surge or study-munchy needs.

But maybe all this talk of writing and research papers is making you want to duck under the nearest table. If you’re not under there already, stay with me: Transylvania acknowledges that most students struggle with writing at some time. That’s why we’ve got the writing center, a service staffed by trained students ready to guide you through every step of a writing project, from brainstorming to final drafts.

I’ve experienced a lot of satisfying feelings in my life, such as consuming pizza, and connecting twenty five magic markers together, but let me tell you- nothing compares to the feeling of immense fulfillment that you get when, at last, you have finished your research paper. When you have the gleaming, hot from the printer, fruit of your labors there in your hand, when you have finally vanquished the beast (which, as we have discovered, wasn’t so beastly after all) you feel absolutely unstoppable. You’ve done it, and then you feel like you’re ready to do anything. (But first… maybe a nap.)

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