My First Research Essay.

A story by Racheal Katandala

Photo Credit: our moon education

My First Research Essay

I would read PDF documents and wonder what it took to be able to write and produce such a piece of work. After being admitted to Our Moon Education, an NGO that bridges the gap between secondary school and university in Zambia. I was allowed to produce the first research essay that I would have as a PDF document. 


The research essay had to be about a global issue of interest that I had to review in the Zambian context. At first, I could not decide which topic I wanted to research, which led to anxiety. I had never been allowed to write about what interests me. This chance exposed me to some of the things I can do. 


It was a 4000-word essay that needed to be fully referenced. At first, the word count intimidated me, especially since I was doing it for the first time. I had always written 300-word essays in secondary school, and now that I had to increase the number, I was terrified. But fortunately enough, I was assigned a tutor who I could consult during my writing journey.


While writing my essay, I learned how to show and not tell in writing. I also learned how to use what, why, when, where, and how in writing. I intend to continue improving on these to advance my communication skills.


My research essay was about the extent to which family influences an individual's course of study, a comparison between Zambian and Swiss youth. The main aim of the research essay was to improve my research skills, especially with academic writing because it is something I did not do in secondary school, and to advance my writing skills for better communication. I also had a chance to learn about plagiarism and its effects, knowledge that is cardinal, especially since I intend to attend college.


Whenever I share my experience while writing my essay, I use the word fun to describe it. Because I never felt like it was a burden. I enjoyed every moment, even when I felt like I was making little progress. The essay exposed me to a new perspective on the course of study I will choose at college. I realized the importance of knowing what I am interested in before I declare anything. 


I am the first person in my family to have produced such an official document. But I do not intend to be the last. I now look forward to applying the skills I learned through this journey in college. I wish more high school graduates undergo Our Moon Education before tertiary education.



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  Zambia
2022

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