What is a Research Paper?
The purpose of a research paper is for the student to take time researching the ins and outs over a specific topic. Then, using the findings, put together a well-written paper explaining what they found to either explain or persuade their audience. On the outside, that does not seem too bad. The student is able to learn about something new, and it can show the teacher how much they have learned throughout the course of the class. However, that overlooks a large majority of truly what gets put into a research paper. Not only is countless hours put into a singular assignment, the amount of stress for the student and the teacher, and the negative impact it could have on a students future school work could ultimately contradict the entire purpose for the research paper.
One of the most important parts of the research paper is the number of hours that goes into the paper. Between planning, researching, organizing, and actually writing, the amount of hours spent on the paper is astronomical. The amount of hours spent on school in general has a negative impact on all aspects of a students life. Nadya M. Kouzma and Gerald A. Kennedy of Victoria University worked on a study to see how the numbers of hours spent on homework impacted the students mental health, “Table 2 shows that the number of hours spent on homework was positively related to scores for stress, Depression-Dejection, Tension-Anxiety, Fatigue-Jnertia, Confusion-Bedderment , Anger-Hostility, Vigor-Activity, and Mood Disturbance. Also stress was positively correlated with rated Depression-Dejection, Tension-Anxiety, Fatigue-Inertia, Confusion-Bewilderment, Anger-Hostility, Vigor-Activity, and Mood Disturbance.” The long hours of working on a research paper can be extremely detrimental to their mental health. As stated in the article, there is a correlation between working long hours on schoolwork and stress which would make sense in the paper done by Human Psychiatry Human Dev, “Toero et al.  argued that there is a strong link between the pressure to excel in school and suicidal behaviors among children and adolescents. In their study, Toero et al.  showed that the number of suicide cases in a year usually peaked during examination periods where children and adolescents experienced a high level of stress in school.” Using the fact that there was a correlation between school work and stress, it seems there is a correlation between school work and suicide rates. This is often overlooked while dealing with research papers. Since that is not the purpose of the paper, people do not think about the side effects. Although research papers are not meant to do that, it seems they can lead to an increase in suicide rates.
While the student is extremely important, the teacher’s mental health cannot be ignored. Similarly to how an overload of work impacts a students mental health, it can detriment a teachers. According to an article going over teach burnout, written by Willy Lens and Saul Neves De Jesus, “Teachers have consistently cited work overload as a major stressor in their job; important factors include excessive paperwork, oversize classes comprising students of heterogeneous academic abilities, imposed time constraints, and the need to teach courses that are outside their particular skill area.” Often overlooked, the amount of school work given can affect the teacher’s stress levels. Someone has to grade the assignments, give feedback, and help out the students in any way. Teachers arguably have a significantly larger workload than the students. Like previously said, there is a link between stress levels and suicide rates which cannot be ignored.
An issue currently going through many high schools and colleges is dealing with burnout. Burnout can happen for many reasons, but it ultimately prevents the student from the ability of doing any of their work. From an article by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “A chronic exposure to academic stress can result in school burnout, defined as an emotional state of exhaustion, cynicism and depersonalization.” As seen as before, stress can greatly negatively impact the student. This time, it is burning out the student from being able to complete their school work. Due to the large workload provided by a research paper, it can lead to stress which will burn out the student.
While burnout does mean an increase of stress, it also can explain the droppage of grades in the student’s future. Written by Daniel J. Madigan and Thomas Curran, they explain, “ Aligned with our hypotheses, burnout did indeed emerge as a significant negative predictor of achievement (exams, grades, GPA). In this regard, total burnout and all three burnout symptoms predicted worse academic achievement. There was also evidence that the instrument used to measure burnout (MBI, SBI) moderated the relationship between the reduced efficacy dimension of burnout and academic achievement.” Caused by burnout, in their study there was a drop in GPA, grades, and exams. This not only explains why burnout can be detrimental to a student, but it also explains the impact it may have on the student’s career. From the workload presented by a research paper, the future of the student can be impacted due to the burnout as a result of the paper.
While research papers are generally thought to help out a student, the majority of people truly do not know what is involved when writing a research paper. Since research papers have an extremely large workload, it often negatively impacts the students. Working on a research paper almost always ends up becoming an increase of stress, anxiety, depression, and many other negative emotions. These emotions lead to impacting the student in many easy such as burnout, a decrease in happiness, and possibly even suicide. Not only does this impact the student, the same emotions can be felt from the teacher’s perspective. With the increase in work for them, the same effects of a research paper can be seen. Maybe research papers should not be seen as helpful like they are. It seems the negatives extremely outweigh the pros that can come from one.
KOUZMA, Nadya M, and Gerald A KENNEDY. “P.rybological Reporis.” HOMEWORK, STRESS, AND MOOD DISTURBANCE IN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ‘ .
Meylan, Nicolas, et al. “What Types of Educational Practices Impact School Burnout Levels in Adolescents?” International Jounral of Enviornmental Research and Public Health, 12 Feb. 2020.
Tetzlaff, Leonard, et al. “Developing Personalized Education: A Dynamic Framework – Educational Psychology Review.” SpringerLink, Springer US, 29 Oct. 2020, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10648-020-09570-w.Tipd, Upt. “Smart Lib: Smart Library.” SMARTLIB, smartlib.umri.ac.id/.