Preparing to Write a Biographical Research Paper

Monday, December 21, 2009

Biographical research papers and essays use a person’s real life experiences for the purpose of presenting the given topic. This type of assignment differs from the rest of them in their nature and also research method. It is good to have an idea of how to go about it before you start the procedure, considering the unique nature of this project.

While handling an assignment of biographical nature you will be using the qualitative research method. You will have to talk to people, many of them, to collect evidence and points related to your topic. Since a qualitative method is involved, you have no option but to be well organized as you will be depending on other people to complete your research.

Once you have the topic in hand, consider whether you wish to write your assignment on the life of a person who is alive or deceased. If you choose to do the former then you should arrange an interview with the person himself or herself. Relying on journals and magazines to get information on the life of the person will work to a certain extent. But as you need this information for a specific purpose, it will be necessary to speak to the person at least once to get the specific details required for your assignment. You will also need to talk to people who are related to the life of your subject in order to gather enough evidence for your biographical research paper.

If the person on whose life you are focusing your research is not alive then your research would start on the biography of that person written by himself or by someone else. You might still need to meet people who can provide information on your main subject but your main sources will be books.

The main challenge you face while writing a biographical research paper on a person who is alive is that of extracting the right kind of information from him or her. Most people are reluctant to discuss personal matters. Since a biographical essay or research paper will require the most personal information of your subject’s life, it is better to warn your subject in advance, of the nature of your topic and the kind of information you will need. This will help to avoid the risk of you having to change your subject half-way through your research.

The evidence you gather is supposed to support your thesis statement or connect to the topic of your research paper. Hence, before meeting your subject, or subjects, you will have to plan the questions well enough. Frame your questions in such a way that you will get the maximum amount of information with the minimum number of questions. Make your questions interesting for your subject as well.

Writing a biographical research paper requires patience and good planning. Since your research and its outcome  are totally dependent on other people, your research procedure will not be flexible at all. You can also opt for a custom research paper done by professional writers for your research paper assignment.

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