Composing a scientific research paper: how to concentrate

When you are composing a scientific research paper, concentrating is a requirement. However, it does not always come as naturally as we want it to come. So here are some tips on how to concentrate when you are composing a scientific research paper:

  1. Listen to music.
  2. Recent studies indicate that music has an ability to alter our perception of time. That is how you can actually get “lost in the music”. Faster paced music will speed up your concept of time and make you work more frantically, while slower paced music will calm you and make time pass more slowly. So, in order to concentrate, relax and pay attention to your reading, try and block out the sounds around you with relaxing slow paced music such as classical music.

  3. Take proper notes as you read.
  4. Many students do not realize the significance of taking notes as they research for their paper. It is a reliable way to enhance memorization and to reduce the amount of study time required to internalize course material.

Take notes as you read through the books and magazines and professional journals you plan to use, labelling them by date for effective organization. Listen actively to lectures so that in addition to taking notes, you are able to understand and think critically about the information being presented and apply it to your research paper. Feel free to ask questions when it is fitting. Maintain a consistent structure and format for your notes e.g. use the same bullets and numbering styles for similar levels so that you won’t get confused as you sit down to write later.

It also helps to have a notebook that is big enough to be used for a whole semester, and leave some space in between notes for additional notes that may need to be added later. Listen to your lecturer and write down the noteworthy points by paying attention to key words and what the lecturer considers significant, as expressed through their verbal and nonverbal communication. Take note of both major points and minor sub-points, but steer clear of getting caught up in the minutiae. Write comprehensible notes with abbreviations that you will be sure to recall, ensuring that you will not have trouble when reviewing your notes later.

Write down information that the lecturer shows in a PowerPoint presentation or writes on the whiteboard, because this indicates that the material is important.

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