I'm trying to prepare for undergraduate research by reading papers that are similar to what I will be working on, but I am having trouble understanding much of what I am reading. I have taken one econometrics course and next semester will be aiding a professor in a project applying econometrics. I want to be more well versed in the subject so I can be of bigger help but the papers I'm reading I really don't understand. Some of them I understand partly and others not at all, does this mean I'm unprepared or is this normal for undergraduate researchers? I haven't participated in research before this and I'm getting some feelings of imposter syndrome before I even begin.


2 Answers 2


You are not supposed to be prepared for undergraduate research. The purpose of participating is to help you become prepared. Allow a few years for it to work.


For an undergraduate there is nothing unusual about what you are experiencing. You are at the beginning of a long climb that you haven't attempted before. Things are likely to get easier in the doing of it and you will have the advice of the advisor to work with.

Relax and do your best when the time comes. Every new researcher starts out in the same place.

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