The truth about research writing assignments is this: they are the most important assignments in your education. Period. The skills you develop and polish during a research writing assignment:
If you are a bit overwhelmed by an assignment at the moment, or intimidated by the term "research" -- you might think this is bad news. I happen to think it falls on the positive side, since most of us prefer to think that assignments we are given in college, especially those requiring so much time and energy, are going to teach us something of value.
Whether you think that is good or bad news, this, I think, you will agree is good news: fulfilling a research writing assignment is a lot easier than you think. "Research" is just a fancy word for something you do all the time to gather the information you need to solve a problem or answer a question. [quote Booth or Gibaldi here] Whether you are buying a new CD player, figuring out which graduate school to attend - or looking for the best place to spend your spring break --- before you make a decision, you did your research. You probably looked at various websites, maybe read some articles, or talked to friends or colleagues you know who seem to know knowledgeable.
So you're used to the underlying practice of research, just maybe not the word.
Right? Right. Now we come to the second valuable part of the assignment: write.
The writing aspect of the assignment also corresponds to what you actually do: you go back over your research, synthesize the information, and then communicate your own view. In your more recent informal research projects, this has probably not taken the form of writing. Think of the writing portion of the assignment, though, as a chance for you to translate the process of reviewing and evaluating the information you've collected while researching an issue into valuable career skills. Writing out the results of your research obliges you to be methodical in tracking down information, logical in reviewing that information, lucid in formulating your conclusions about the information, and lucid in your presentation of it to others. All of which are great skills - necessary skills - for anyone entering the professional world.
If you think about this for a couple of minutes, you'll realize it is true. Wherever you work, You are going to be asked to communicate your ideas, in a logical, lucid and organized manner, on a regular basis, as soon as you enter the work place. Whether you are in politics, business, law, medicine, journalism, social work, engineering . . . .nursing - teaching - whatever profession you pursue, you are going to have to know how to research an issue, keep current on research others are doing, form conclusions based on that research, and express yourself clearly to others.
The bottom line is: writing a research paper is going to help you develop the skills you are going to need to succeed in the professional world. So don't take the assignment lightly. Whatever you do, don't even THINK about getting someone else to do the paper for you . . . . you need this kind of training. It is a must, in fact, if you want to be successful.