Writing a Research Paper

Andres Palacios
A major milestone for a Fourth Former at Groton is to complete two research papers for World and the West, a year-long history class. These research papers take months of hard work and are a big accomplishment for those taking World and the West. Over the last three months, I wrote my second research paper for this class, and it was an amazing project.
After writing my first research paper on the 1947 Partition of British India, I decided to investigate a topic about my home country: Mexico. More specifically, the paper focused on Porfirio Diaz, a dictator that ruled Mexico during the industrial revolution of the late nineteenth century. I became especially excited when I found dozens of books in the school library and thousands of articles on Groton’s online platforms focused on this interesting individual. 

For the next two months, I spent hours reading through old telegrams and newspapers, fascinating political reviews, and books analyzing the effects of Diaz on Mexico. During my spring break in Mexico City, it was especially fun to dig through my grandmother’s old books for potential sources and to find old photographs of Mexico during the early 1900s. 

As months went on, I began to pile evidence and quotes, as well as start to form possible arguments about Diaz. Although overwhelming at times, the research process was always entertaining and interesting. It was also fascinating to learn how to investigate with a hands-on approach. During March, I began writing the paper and found it extremely satisfying to see all of my work start to be put on paper. After a few weeks of intense writing, I was proud to see the finished product of months of work. 

I was amazed by how many skills I developed throughout the whole research process. From how to find sources, write arguments, and even time management, this research paper was a true learning experience.