5 Tips To Boost Your Research Game

Research can always be a challenging job whether it is MUN related or not. Your performance in an MUN conference highly depends on your research. An outstanding MUNer always seeks information and delves beyond the headlines. Your research can make you shine amongst your fellow colleagues and give you credibility. This blog will provide you with 5 tips you need to ensure your research process is efficient without falling into the traps of different sources.  

1. Understand what you are researching

Before you start your actual research, you need to identify what you’re looking for. Are you researching a political concept? A historical incident? A social issue? A current event? Depending on what you’re looking for, your source is going to be different. For example, if you’re researching a current event, you’re more likely to find it on a news agency website, whereas, if you’re searching for historical documents/treaties to support an argument, you need to go through history books and videos. If you want previous UN resolutions, you’ll find them in the UN Digital Library.   

2. Use reliable resources to support your argument

Proper research will eliminate any flaws in your arguments.  For example, do not use Wikipedia at all as a citation, or reference; use it as a starting point to understand concepts broadly, and to guide you to useful references. Build your arguments from reputable/academic sources rather than things that look sketchy and make sure you check the credibility of the author/publisher.  

3. Use visual aids and videos 

If you want to understand the chronological order of an incident or basic info, use visual aids and mind-maps. Looking at things like diagrams, statistics, and YouTube videos will always help you visualize the data and reach a clearer conclusion. Some news agencies have reports and documentaries released on the issue, which might help you understand the issue more and reach a proper conclusion.   

4. Ensure that the information is correct

This is one of the trickiest things to keep in mind as you research, which is why you need to always fact check. Always look through different sources of information to verify your facts/info.  You can check if a source is valid by looking into a variety of sources with different political agendas. If they all report the same information, the fact is correct, if they do not, then you should flag the “fact” as unconfirmed.   

5. Stay Simple and Scroll Through the Pages

Sometimes all it takes to get great research results is to simply write exactly what you’re looking for in the Google search engine. For example, if you’re looking for a document/text, it’d be useful if you add a ‘+ PDF’ to your search query. If you want to find a report on the Arab Israeli Conflict, write ‘Report on Arab Israeli Conflict + PDF’. If you can’t find something in the search results, make sure to play with the wording of your search and remember that any search engine is a machine that picks keywords from your search and collects all relevant data – make sure your keywords are scattered in your search query.   

After looking at the tips of research and understanding each point, you should start compiling these points into one big document in order to form a guided and organized pathway for yourself. Research may be quite difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, once, twice and three times you will be a professional researcher in MUN or in your academic life in general.  

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About the Author

Laila Younes has been an active MUNer for the past 10 years. She has taken part in over 40 international and national conferences including the National MUN conference that takes place in New York City (2018 and 2019) where she has won a plethora of awards for her exemplary writing and debating skills. She has also taken part in the World Youth Forum (2017 and 2019), organized and managed MUNs in her university, and led hundreds of students in MUN trips. Laila is currently the Undersecretary General of Political Affairs of Catalysts For Change MUN.