Student scientific work: opening up topics

Student scientific work: opening up topics

The task of working scientifically on a subject may seem excessive in the first few semesters: a whole page has to be filled with keywords and bibliographical references to a presentation and as a starting reading five thick books were recommended!

Although the older semester can only laugh at such difficulties, it does not change the problem faced by freshmen: how to approach an unknown topic without getting tangled in the bushes of literature, without spending days reading texts, which later prove not to be productive for the topic of the work?

In the early phase of the study, the main aim is to acquire the methods for independent work: Presentations and papers should prove that it is possible to capture and reflect on the central questions of a work area.

Whether paper or scientific paper: The stepwise acquisition of knowledge from the general to the special is important: knowledge builds on previous knowledge. The degree of difficulty and the claim of the literature should therefore only be increased when the basic concepts have been developed. If the topic is completely alien, you can initially use encyclopaedias (or even student encyclopaedias) or introductory manuals. However, it is worthwhile to take a look at their page size: A manual of 150 pages will devote much less attention to a topic than a lexicon 600 pages, the manual will probably provide the information in a more concise and easily understandable way.

At this stage, Wikipedia, as the first source of information, though not as a quotable work, should not be a taboo. After a first overview, more specialized subject encyclopaedias can be used to cover the subject more extensively and describe a larger number of other, related terms.

Next, scientific books and essays can be consulted that deal more intensively with individual detail issues, deal with theoretical questions and academic controversies.

With this kind of step-by-step approach, students gradually come into contact with the relevant questions, the main topics and the authoritative theses of the authors. Your own work can benefit greatly from these experiences.