How do you evaluate the quality of the material you’ve identified?

You’ve done your research and now have a long list of links to material and/or articles in academic journals that may or may not be relevant to your essay or assignment.

What should you do next?

This is another point in the essay- or assignment-writing lifecycle where a lot of students become a little lost, or even overwhelmed, which is perfectly understandable.

Are you going to read all the articles you’ve identified?

It’s unlikely that you’ll have time to read everything. After all, I’m sure you’re busy, just like every other university student on the planet. You may be working as well as studying, which means you’re probably struggling to juggle everything you need to do.

I can help.


How do you collate the research material you’ve collected?

It’s very important to evaluate the material you’ve collected, so that you can decide whether or not to use it in your essay or assignment.

In an era when anyone can post anything on the internet, and when predatory publishing is becoming increasingly common, you need to know how to assess the quality of the material you’ve collected.

I can teach you how to assess whether an article, book or paper is the kind of source you should be using in your essay or assignment.

The collation technique that I will teach you will enable you, quickly and efficiently, to cull from the unruly pile of materials your search has produced the ones that are most relevant to your essay or assignment.


How do you analyse the research material you’ve evaluated and collated? How do you formulate a coherent argument for your essay or assignment?


Analysing the material in front of you

One of the places where students often take a wrong turn in essays or assignments is when they don’t answer the question that they’re being asked to examine.

For any essay or assignment, you need to demonstrate, first, that you understand the question and, second, that you can critically analyse the research you have gathered in order to answer the question.

You need to review the material and assess:

  • Its relevance to the topic you’re exploring
  • The quality of the evidence used by the authors
  • The quality of the arguments presented based on the evidence.


Formulating a coherent argument

You also need to break down the question and think about what it’s really asking you to do.

Many students make the mistake of simply describing what other people have said. You won’t find the answer to the question asked in a paper you have read. Your lecturers want you to think about what you have read, and then to draw your own conclusions, rather than simply describe what someone else has concluded.

The analysis process is the most difficult aspect of completing an assignment or essay, and many students lose their way at this point. Analysis goes beyond process. You actually have to think about the topic and, ideally, come up with your own ideas about it.

Even if this is often difficult, it also makes researching and writing essays and assignments a rewarding experience.

If you don’t feel confident about analysing essay or assignment topics, I can teach you techniques that will help you to start thinking critically and enable you to develop your analytical skills.

Let’s face it: writing essays and assignments is always going to be a bit of a chore. However, I believe that I can make the process a lot more enjoyable and rewarding for you.


Do you need help in developing your ability to collate and analyse research materials? Do you need assistance in analysing topics critically and coming up with your own ideas? Give me a call on +61 (0)438 611 251 or email me at so we can discuss how I can help you.