The Biggest Mistakes made in General Paper Information Research

With the coming exams, many of you out there must be feeling stress in finding information for your essays. Without proper examples, statistics or events, it would be difficult to put forward a coherent argument. Your examples provide your argument with backbone to demonstrate how you came to your opinion in a logical manner. Finding the right sort of information through research is the key to unlocking your fullest potential.

In this short write up, I’ll describe some of the usual pitfalls that students encounter in looking for information.

  • Being overly fixated on the topic rather than the issue
    1. The topic in the question merely forms the boundaries for your essay
    2. Merely putting the key words (e.g energy consumption) will throw back a myriad of results
    3. Another common problem is copying and pasting the question into the search bar in a lazy attempt to discover the right answer (e.g ‘Traditional marriage is an outdated concept.’ To what extent is this true of your society?)
    4. The biggest issue is being given an information dump without a single clue about how to synthesize your information

Solution: Find someone you trust to walk you through the topic. Either your teacher or a tutor would be more equipped to tackle difficult questions in a more effective way. If you’re seeking help in the west of Singapore, approach Gerald Chew at to enquire about classes.

  • Obsession with statistics
    1. Statistics are a means to an end
    2. Statistics without relevance provide a false sense of security that you are able to logically map out an argument

Solution: Pick and choose the most relevant facts. Knowing 5 key statistics that you know at your finger tips will be more helpful than a book full of redundant facts.

    • Not starting with your own assumptions
  1. Looking for the “right” answer dulls your ability to come up with your own arguments
  2. Assuming there are “right” answers will be a big stumbling block to creative thinking
  3. Learn to adapt your opinions


  • Picking evidence from poorly sourced sites
    1. Learn to understand Google best practices in searching to avoid outdated or biased bits of information. Remember, the more incredulous it sounds, the more it should be double checked
    2. Depending on pseudo scientific research papers or preliminary papers instead of curated content


    Gerald Chew


  • Mr Chew is a BBA (Hons) graduate from the National University of Singapore Business school. He is also an ACCA affiliate after completing the ACCA examinations with a specialisation in audit and performance management. He has been teaching General Paper for over 6 years. Gerald always aims to shore up his students’ foundation in order to help them logically solve problems. He is a firm believer in engaging students on their level in order to enhance their understanding of current affairs and their implications. At Singapore Learner, Gerald offers classes for General Paper, English, Accounting, Management of Business and Economics. For details, click on A-LEVEL | JC | GENERAL PAPER TUITION.

Copyright © 2015 by Singapore Learner. All Rights Reserved.

This entry was posted in General Paper and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.