For most people, writing a good research paper is a very tricky and challenging task because research papers require a different skill set than essay writing or other academic writing projects.
Research papers make up a large part of every student’s grade at all levels. Every college student will come across one or more research papers at different points. It is, therefore, vital that you get to know the essential aspects of writing an excellent research paper.
We agree that a project like this will be pretty daunting. However, with detailed and helpful instructions, the process will be smoother and more exciting.
What Is A Research Paper?
A research paper involves presenting an in-depth evaluation of a given topic. Research papers require extensive study and a logical presentation of arguments, views, and opinions based on facts and figures.
You need to take surveys, study many books and articles, and discover expert opinions on a given matter when writing a research paper. But it goes beyond collecting facts from different sources. An excellent research paper should present your views backed up by other reliable findings and information.
Before you begin writing the research paper, you will need to do thorough research into your topic. These points will help you:
- Understand your topic completely;
- Draw up a scheme for your paper;
- Formulate your thesis;
- Give your evaluation and arguments with confidence and authority.
Steps in Writing Your Research Paper
Writing your research paper will be a lot easier if you break down the process into manageable steps. Let’s look at some of these vital steps to take.
1.Choose a Topic
Typically, instructors are responsible for assigning research paper topics to college students, but you get to choose your topic in some cases. If the latter is the case, make sure you select your topic wisely. It would be best if you went for a topic of interest to you, so you don’t get tired of the project quickly.
Moreover, your topic should be something challenging and relevant as well. Even if you go with a topic you are familiar with, you can learn new details about it. Nevertheless, avoid topics that are too technical or common.
2.Conduct Preparatory Research
After getting a topic, you will need to research different discussions that are relevant to the topic. Use various sources such as books, journals, articles, and websites not to miss anything important.
Another thing to look out for is contradicting opinions. Gathering information from sources contrary to your perspective will help you build a stronger argument and broaden your scope.
Furthermore, preliminary research will help you develop a unique point of view. Studying other articles and essays on similar topics will help you create a unique take on the subject. It will also help you notice areas of the case that need special attention.
Lastly, this stage of your research will help you formulate research questions. These questions will guide you through the entire paper and even give you a basis for your thesis statement.
3.Compose Your Thesis Statement
A thesis statement summarizes the principal theme of your research paper. It should come early in the paper, just after your introduction.
Your thesis statement should give a vivid idea of the central point of your work. Everything written in your paper should fall back to this idea. Also, your research question should be answered briefly by your thesis statement by showing reasonable arguments.
Remember to keep your thesis statement concise; summarize in a paragraph or two. It should also make room for further analysis and examination throughout the work, and every part of the paper should relate to this statement.
4.Make an Outline
Creating an outline will help guide your progress and maintain a well-arranged, analytical flow throughout the writing. After quality research, you will have tons of ideas to put down. Without an outline, you may skip some important points and end up confused.
Also, avoid adding anything that is not included in your outline when you begin writing your draft. A research paper typically includes:
- A title page
- An abstract
- An introduction
- A technique or methodology segment
- Findings or outcome
- Arguments and evaluation
5.Make the First Draft
When writing your first draft, make sure you follow the outline you created. Your first draft will determine how the final paper will turn out. In your first draft, you are free to put down all your ideas and worry about editing the work later.
Start your draft with a striking title. Your readers see the title first before anything else, so you must make a good impression and leave them wanting to continue reading. Try to keep your title brief but captivating. Include important keywords that will come up regularly throughout your paper.
Afterward, it would help if you wrote an exciting introduction that will lead readers on. The introduction should contain your thesis statement and should sum up your entire work intelligently. Your research paper’s body will have most of your evaluation, and your conclusion will round everything up.
6.Edit and Proofread
After you finish with your first draft, it is time to edit your work and check for any errors. It is impossible to get a perfect first draft. You will most definitely need to change your work on a large or small scale.
Read through your draft to be sure your writing has a logical flow. Refer to your outline also to ensure your paper followed the order you intended.
Furthermore, check your work for any spelling and grammatical errors. Check your punctuation and choice of words also, and be sure everything is accurate. Also, make sure to check for plagiarism.
If you are satisfied with your work, it is advisable to ask for the opinion of others. It would be best to ask your friends or family members or other more experienced writers to evaluate your work and express their views.
Writing a research paper is cumbersome only when you have no guidelines to help you make preparations. Follow the steps above, and with time and practice, you will improve your writing skills.