Writing a research essay is a daunting and challenging assignment for most college and university students today. Their workload is huge, and the study hours are on a high increase. Every tutor gives out homework, and at the end of the day, undergraduates are overburdened. And here comes this research essay in Astronomy that you have no idea of how to approach and deal with. To lessen this academic burden of yours, we’ve created a writing guide that will enlighten you on how to work this task out and still have enough time for your exams and extracurricular activities. Follow the recommendation step by step.
That’s the first question that students usually ask when assigned this type of assignment. The research essay is a sort of an academic essay that requires you to analyze the written works of other authors and do the comparison of their points with your own ideas. A good research essay is a well-organized flow of text that includes thorough research of source material and requires you to synthesize what you learn from it using your own thoughts and ideas. In short, the research essay is made up of an introduction that includes an original thesis statement showing your in-depth research, the body, and the conclusion. We’ll examine each below.
When it comes to Astronomy, your task is to create a research essay in the niche that is focused on the material universe that goes far beyond the Earth atmosphere. In other words, be ready to work on the topic that deals with something that extends beyond what is familiar to you or anyone else in the world. Although numerous advances in space travel, satellites, and telescopes have provided humans with an opportunity to see what is out there, it is still more that we don’t know about space than what people know. Much of Astronomy deals with the theory and is closely related to Chemistry, Math, and Physics. The theoretical nature of the niche and its tendency to challenge values close to people means that controversial topics are among the most popular ones when it comes to writing a research essay in Astronomy.
If you realize that the list of research topics in Astronomy is never-ending just like space, we recommend using some of the ideas we provided for your below:
If there’s a particular niche in Astronomy that you’re interested in, i.e., Infrared Astronomy, Solar Astronomy, Extragalactic Astronomy, Astrophysics, X-Ray Astronomy, search for potential topics right in the specific subfields. If not, start by brainstorming. Sit down, be calm, and browse all materials that you have at hand to jot down the ideas that might pop up at a certain point. Narrow your focus and select a thought-provoking topic depending on the purpose of the paper. Give preference to the issues that aren’t difficult to research since no matter what point you write on, be ready to defend it with relevant and trustworthy sources like NASA, Space.com, and Universe Today.
This is the first and most important step that you have to take in the research essay writing. Once you know the question asked, you can identify what exactly your tutor wants you to do. Point out the keywords such as ‘explain,’ ‘discuss,’ ‘prove,’ ‘tell,’ ‘evaluate,’ ‘research,’ and so on. Besides, it is important to check if there are any limiting words like ‘within the USA,’ ‘during the XX century,’ etc.
Before you start writing, create the plan or outline that you will use as your guide in the process. Put down the topic of your research in the middle of your essay page, draw lines right from it, and write the key ideas at the end of every line. Draw more lines from the main ideas to write down your thoughts.
As an alternative, feel free to use the so-called simple outline. To create one, put down the research essay topic at the top of the page, separate your page into the intro, the body, and the end. If you create a 5-paragraph research essay, your body part will include at least three main ideas. It is recommended to leave enough space under every idea to list supporting ideas there. This simple scheme will help you make your content more organized.
If, for instance, you produce a research essay on ‘The Milky Way Galaxy,’ the so-called ‘skeleton’ of it will help you to write clearly and in a more organized manner. Sample outline of the essay will look like this:
The Introduction Paragraph:
You already know your topic, and the paper outline is at hand, which means you can start writing now. Begin by writing a thesis statement that informs your reader on the essay purpose. The thesis statement must reflect the topic of your essay, together with its argument. In other words, you provide a single statement that includes the overall response to a particular problem. Place your thesis statement at the end of the introduction paragraph and ensure to link back to it several times as you write your research essay, and finally restate it in the conclusion section.
Once you’re done with the thesis statement, it’s time to work on the introduction of the essay. It’s important to make the introductory paragraph as hooking as possible to catch your reader’s’ attention. It’s recommended to start with a hook. Use a dialogue, a story, a shocking truth, a quote, or a statistics that impresses much. Also, ensure the hook that you include is relevant to your thesis statement. For instance, if you work on the research essay in Astronomy, feel free to state that ‘there is no sound in space,’ ‘on Earth, a flame always rises. In space, a flame always moves outward from its source in all directions,’ or ‘when water boils on our planet, it creates dozens of little bubbles, while in space, boiling water creates just one giant, undulating bubble.’
In this part of your research essay, you’re required to describe, explain, and argue your topic. Each of the main ideas that you put down in your outline now turns into a separate paragraph. Each paragraph comprises the main idea. Start every paragraph with an opening sentence that carries the main idea. All the supporting ideas go next backed with relevant examples and information. It’s crucial to cite every reference material that you happen to use throughout the text. Besides, you must also cite all the direct quotes using the format style preferred by your instructor.
The conclusion section of the research essay is as important as the introductory paragraph. This part provides you with a chance to summarize your ideas and close up the project. Make sure your conclusion is short and doesn’t include any new ideas. Sum up the key arguments you have given throughout the text. Restate your thesis statement and support your stance once again. Give the potential opportunities for further research in the chosen field of Astronomy. For instance, if you write about the dwarf galaxies, mention that ‘all dwarf galaxies are composed of 99% dark matter and only 1% normal matter like stars. Due to this disparity, dwarf galaxies are perfect targets for astronomers who seek to understand dark matter.’
After you have written your project, there are some finishing things that you need to take care of to polish up your paper that the tutor will appreciate. While not each of these points has to wait until the moment when your research essay is done, it’s better to work on the important stuff first, which is the writing, that’s for sure. Here are some of the final touches:
Before you submit your research essay, make sure to edit and proofread one. Take a look at the general structure of your paper and ensure you’ve used the correct format. Make certain that the strongest points go first and in the last paragraph of the body. The others can be placed in the middle of the body section.
Read and reread your research essay out loud to make sure all sentences and paragraphs are sensible and flow logically. All irrelevant pieces of text should be deleted, while the vocabulary should be improved by changing, adding, or deleting some of the expressions. Check the spelling, grammar, and punctuation to meet the word count and academic requirements.
If you’re not sure if you can edit and proofread the essay on your own, ask your friend or family member to check your content and highlight all errors before you write the final draft.
Before you start writing a research essay in Astronomy, it is important to remember something that is fundamental to professional academic writing: you write to learn what you want to say. To some readers, that may sound quite obvious; however, many writers, who lack writing experience, have a different (or even debilitating!) point of view, when it comes to the purpose of writing. Most of the poorly experienced writers imagine writing as something that they do only after they figure out what they want to say. This kind of attitude is pretty anti-ethical to the process of writing. As a rule, this kind of attitude can be observed in the sciences, where the writers have the ‘let me get all the results first, and then I’ll write about it’ attitude. Instead of seeing the process of writing as the final stage of the research essay creation, make sure to see it as part of the process from the very start. To cut a long story short, writing is thinking. It is a useful thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to discover what you want to say.
The subject of Astronomy can stir a lot of passionate discussions, so feel free to choose the most captivating topic and engage your readers’ attention with ease!