Writing a successful research paper

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This brief, practical guide offers a clear and comprehensive strategy for conceptualizing, approaching, and executing the task of writing a research paper in the humanities and social sciences. In addition, it provides: a critical and process-oriented approach to the tasks of topic selection, formulation of the research question, thesis development, and argumentation. judiciously selected examples drawn from a broad range of disciplines. concise treatment of the aims, methods, and conventions of scholarly research, including the opportunities and pitfalls of Internet use. a wealth of conceptual and organizational tools, and more.

  • 2012-10-12
  • in Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Stanley Chodorow

Writing a Successful Research Paper, and, Writing with Sources, (2nd Edition)

Author: Stanley Chodorow

Publisher: Hackett Publishing

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Now available together as a set for a discounted price: Writing A Successful Research Paper: A Simple Approach, by Stanley Chodorow, with, Writing with Sources, (Second Edition): A Guide for Students, by Gordon Harvey.

  • 2011-06-15
  • in Education
  • Peter Haisler

How to Write a Good Research Paper

Author: Peter Haisler

Publisher: Samfundslitteratur

Category: Education

This concise book gives tangible advice on how to write a good academic research paper. It is useful for those writing short essays, one-year projects, bachelor’s projects, or master’s theses. The book offers: -A quick overview of how to write an academic research paper ways to organize the process of writing an academic research paper. -An overview of the most common problems encountered when writing academic research papers. -Practical guidelines that can be used throughout the writing process and during the examination an understanding of some of the different research. -Methodologies advice on how to obtain good grades on exams. On this site, www.researchpaper.samfundslitteratur.dk, you can find a range of potential research topics appropriate for short and long research papers. You can also find several examples illustrating and further explaining the advice contained in this book, including examples of research questions, analyses, theories, introductions, methodology chapters, and more.

  • 2009-01-27
  • in Education
  • Elisabeth Blandford

How to Write the Best Research Paper Ever!

Author: Elisabeth Blandford

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Category: Education

Be the person in your class to write the paper that achieves the A! Follow this easy and interesting process to authentically document your work. This reader-friendly text and step-by-step process will help you set and achieve short and long-term goals as you learn how to pick a topic and narrow it, use library resources and search engines, take notes, and summarize, paraphrase and directly quote without plagiarizing. Learn a new way to read: be a spider! Create a challenging and defendable thesis, craft an intriguing introduction, control opposing viewpoints, outline your evidence, and draft, peer and self-evaluate and publish a superb product. Read a helpful essay on avoiding fallacies of logic while laughing yourself silly. Further develop your own writing style within the accepted writing conventions, and learn how to analyze and apply appropriate tone. Rules for the most common citations are given (MLA 7th Edition) with examples, including internet sources. Resources are included for word use, listing 200 ways to say says, and transitional words, organized by their function, to move smoothly from one idea to the next. A sample paper, sample outlines, and sample Works Cited pages are included! “Mrs. Blandford has carefully and creatively provided a book that is a guaranteed recipe for success in writing research papers. Not only did I do extremely well on my first research paper by using this book, but now, whenever I have a writing assignment, I refer to this book as a guide. It teaches the skills needed to construct and accomplish a successful research paper, and provides knowledge that can be used to process massive amounts of information in our knowledge-driven world. It truly is a valuable asset in my life I would recommend this well-crafted book to anyone who wants to succeed in writing a research paper and writing overall Jeanette Morelan, Prairie School, Racine, Wisconsin

  • 1996-01-01
  • in Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Research and Education Association

REA’s Quick and Easy Guide to Writing Your A+ Research Paper

Author: Research and Education Association

Publisher: Research & Education Assoc.

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

A guide for writing research papers covers such topics as the differences between research papers and term papers, choosing a topic, research sources, and conforming to MLA standards.

  • 2018-12-31
  • in Political Science
  • Lisa A. Baglione

Writing a Research Paper in Political Science

A Practical Guide to Inquiry, Structure, and Methods

Author: Lisa A. Baglione

Publisher: CQ Press

Category: Political Science

Even students capable of writing excellent essays still find their first major political science research paper an intimidating experience. Crafting the right research question, finding good sources, properly summarizing them, operationalizing concepts and designing good tests for their hypotheses, presenting and analyzing quantitative as well as qualitative data are all tough-going without a great deal of guidance and encouragement. Writing a Research Paper in Political Science breaks down the research paper into its constituent parts and shows students what they need to do at each stage to successfully complete each component until the paper is finished. Practical summaries, recipes for success, worksheets, exercises, and a series of handy checklists make this a must-have supplement for any writing-intensive political science course. New to the Fourth Edition: A non-causal research paper woven throughout the text offers explicit advice to guide students through the research and writing process. Updated and more detailed discussions of plagiarism, paraphrases, “drop-ins,” and “transcripts” help to prevent students from misusing sources in a constantly changing digital age. A more detailed discussion of “fake news” and disinformation shows students how to evaluate and choose high quality sources, as well as how to protect oneself from being fooled by bad sources. Additional guidance for writing abstracts and creating presentations helps students to understand the logic behind abstracts and prepares students for presentations in the classroom, at a conference, and beyond. A greater emphasis on the value of qualitative research provides students with additional instruction on how to do it.

  • 2012-10-01
  • in Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Stanley Chodorow

Chodorow: Writing a Successful Research Paper, and, Harvey: Writing with Sources, (2nd Edition)

A Hackett Value Set

Author: Stanley Chodorow

Publisher: Hackett Publishing

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Now available together as a set for a discounted price: Writing A Successful Research Paper: A Simple Approach, by Stanley Chodorow, with, Writing with Sources, (Second Edition): A Guide for Students, by Gordon Harvey. Writing a Successful Research Paper is a brief, practical guide that offers a clear and comprehensive strategy for conceptualizing, approaching, and executing the task of writing a research paper in the humanities and social sciences. In addition, it provides: a critical and process-oriented approach to the tasks of topic selection, formulation of the research question, thesis development, and argumentation, judiciously selected examples drawn from a broad range of disciplines, concise treatment of the aims, methods, and conventions of scholarly research, including the opportunities and pitfalls of Internet use, a wealth of conceptual and organizational tools, and more. Writing with Sources was developed for Harvard University’s Expository Writing Program, Writing with Sources describes the main principles and methods of integrating and citing sources in scholarly work, and provides cogent guidance on avoiding the misuse of sources. The second edition of Writing with Sources is updated throughout, and includes new material on the roles sources play in argument, on assessing the reliability of sources, and on attitudes about writing that can lead to plagiarism.

  • 2013
  • in Education
  • Erika Eby

The High School Student’s Guide to Writing a Great Research Paper

101 Easy Tips & Tricks to Make Your Work Stand Out

Author: Erika Eby

Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Company

Category: Education

Presents a guide to writing a research paper, covering such topics as finding sources, taking research notes, creating an outline, writing the first draft, and completing the final version.

  • 2019-02-10
  • in Education
  • Mushraf Rashid Sayyad

A Stepwise Approach on Writing a Research Paper in Ayurveda

Author: Mushraf Rashid Sayyad

Publisher: Educreation Publishing

Category: Education

There are varieties of books in the market, easily available for the researchers in Ayurveda but no book is still designed having a stepwise approach for writing a research paper in Ayurveda. Furthermore, every beginner should be acquainted with the different components of a research paper like introduction, abstract, conclusion etc. The skill of writing a research paper is not acquired just by reading books or by mere learning in classrooms. The book serves the purpose of giving a conceptual idea of writing a research paper in Ayurveda. The stepwise aspect makes the learners easy to understand the components of a research paper. The book has been added a number of examples to make it clear ‘what is right’ and ‘what is wrong’.

  • 2007
  • in Education
  • Leland Graham

How to Write a Great Research Paper

A Step-by-step Handbook

Author: Leland Graham

Category: Education

Give your students the tools they need to write a great research paper with this handbook from The Literacy Essential Series. How to Write a Great Research Paper guides students step-by-step through the research process. Each step is carefully explained, and the handbook includes helpful practice activities, as well as appropriate examples taken from research papers written by middle school students. Don’t let the process of writing a research paper overwhelm your students—watch them become confident writers and thinkers with this new edition of How to Write a Great Research Paper.

How to Write a Successful Research Paper

It was always a challenge for students to deal with their research paper tasks. This academic paper is a tough piece of writing to deal with, especially for those writers with poor writing skills. There are few main points that should be considered by a writer while dealing with the research paper. You need to be smart enough to use them in a certain way. Also, there is an easier way for any student. You can order a research paper from a professional writing company. But if you want to try to deal with on your own, we have prepared few simple but useful tips about research paper writing.

General research paper writing tips

We got the most popular ways to write a research paper. There are lots of various articles about this type of paper writing, but most of them are just too broad with no accents on details or just too short with no really useful information there. We gathered the most popular tips and tricks on how you can make your research paper successful. This is the fullest list of advice you can get online for free. And the first thing you should note is that writing is important, but you should not forget about revising too.

The first thing you are going to hear from any expert and read in any article is about starting early. It is helpful not only for research papers but also for any other type of writing. The trick is about not rushing when the deadline is close. With the early start, you will have an opportunity to do everything clear and calm. So just do not take it too long before the start and just do it as soon as you know your topic.

Any deadline is not scary if you start your writing early. Do not wait too long before starting your research paper. If you wrote one page per day, it would be absolutely great and enough for successful deadline meeting.

If you do not know what you should start with, consider getting some common things about the topic you have. Collect some common and familiar points for you. This would be very useful for the very first draft. Just write it as simple as you see it and do it right from your heart. And do not forget to take a role of a storyteller.

Freehand writing and free mind during your first draft is a perfect start for your future masterpiece. Just free your mind and let your fantasy go. Do not think about mistakes and how relevant your writing is, because you can revise it later.

Also, the outline is very important for your research paper. Like any other writing task, research paper is getting better with outline prepared before the actual writing. This is a perfect point for those who want their thoughts be clear and accurate. Just use it as your writing map.

Besides that, you also can get a special plan for a certain period of time. Consider a week as your grade. It is useful to set every new goal for every new week. The longer periods will be easier to lose the whole deal and spirit. Your goals should be real and beatable. Do not try to do the entire job at once. Set the smaller goals and deal with them effectively.

Do not forget to write down all your ideas properly. Get the list of your ideas. With such a list you will see all the ideas right before you. It is easier to compare them and use the best ones in your research paper.

Do not be afraid to get feedbacks right while writing your research or any other paper. You can ask any people you like and trust to read your drafts and tell their opinion as readers. It can be your friends or relatives. Do not forget to get clear with all the teacher’s requirements and format settings. You should do this before you start writing and collecting information for the research.

Also, many academic papers experts advise writing in a good mood only. This trick will be a real positive effect on the entire paper you are writing. If your head is loaded with dozens of life problems and just a bad mood, the entire process will flow slower for sure. Just get relaxed and calm down.

Writing instructions

As we already said, you should be clear about your teacher’s requirements. Do not forget to take his or her instructions before the research process starts. This is the determining point of the whole writing circle and the way your research will be slowing up. Do not be shy to ask your mentor if there is something unclear for you and you just do not know how it should be done correctly. It is better to ask once than to rewrite it twice or get a bad grade. While writing your research do not forget to keep in mind the paper length, the number of sources, the topic, and the deadline.

There are just two ways of writing any academic paper. The topic can be given to you by your teacher, or you can choose it by yourself. But do not be afraid to get slight adjustments to the topic right in the middle of the writing process.

So, before getting started, you should check out what was already written on your subject by some other authors. The best way to do this is to use some online libraries or resources like Google Scholar. Make notes about anything interesting you get during this research.

Consider just one or two short and clear sentences to describe your thesis and main point. This would be the main argument for you to deal with in the body paragraphs of your paper.

As we said before, the outline sometimes can be vital for your paper success. This is the perfect way to organize your writing process, especially if your research is of big volume. The outline is a great thing to deal with and not to lose your direction while writing a long and complicated paper.

Sometimes it is harder to start your paper than actually to write it. You need to get your main arguments together and organize your notes. Learn few simple tips for starting a good research paper.

Practical advice on how to start research paper

So, start with just one simple fact you have about your topic. Your Introduction should begin with a broad but at the same time clear statement. Then present the main question of your research.

The second stage should be the determining of the terms. Sometimes you need to start your paper with a quote from a dictionary. This should be done in case your topic is not very common to the audience you are writing for. Just give a simple and clear explanation of the main conception your research is about.

There should be a story in your paper, and it can be a nice trick, to begin with it. Just tell an interesting story relating to your topic and illustrate the main problem on some certain facts and cases. Some authors even start with anecdotes or just shock their readers with a surprising fact. This is a great trick that will help you to grab the reader’s attention.

And the most obvious advice lies right on the surface. Just look for examples online. Find few successful research papers and learn their strong and weak sides. And of course, look how they were written and started.

Searching for Internet Sources

Such a writing piece as the research paper requires some clear and thoughtful approach. And one of the vital things that will influence your paper’s success is the proper analysis of the sources. As you probably know, the most dangerous thing to be issued is the plagiarism. It is a great risk with big problems in consequences. You can read some other research papers, but do not copy them. Instead of blind following the template, try to summarize them and come up with your own thing.

Things go better when you have the clear understanding of the main question of your paper, and you are clear about what you should write. To get points together, you need to collect some certain information and check its plagiarism. It may have been published in some other sources so do not forget to check them all. It is hard to find all the information about your subject on just one section of the library so you should get as many sources as it is possible. Your research paper is about the investigation, and you need to get as many various sources as it is possible.

There are various formats of sources, but the easiest to deal with and to reach are the online ones these days. In the last few years, online data libraries got larger and more diverse, so it is easier to find the info you need. The Internet is a perfect tool for you to get relevant sources from all over the world in the shortest terms. You can even find info about some hard copies of books and journals and places where you can work with them.

Making Research Paper Writing Easier

So, you already know that research paper consists of a number of parts each taking a special place in the overall paper structure. However, this knowledge doesn’t guarantee you successful outcome if you don’t have writing technique to follow.

That’s why these guidelines are more about the way you should approach writing research paper rather than compose it. Here is the last block of tips we have prepared for you.

Normally, any kind of the research paper is preceded by the investigation of the phenomenon or object under focus. But it does not mean you should collect your data separately from writing. So, don’t lose research paper objective even when engaged in subject exploration. Write down your every step, speculations on the key issue and possible results. Later, everything noted will help you define a logical succession of ideas and thus coherent paper structure.

Each research paper contains hypothesis that needs to be either supported or rejected. The best way to defend your claim is to support it with as many argumentations as possible. However, all the proves should be self-contained and complete your thought in a logical way. Put in other words, try not to leave the central question unanswered, it may seem you are not well up in what you are writing about. By contrast, don’t try to explain information which needs no interpretation like statistics. Otherwise, your research paper will be crammed with unnecessary repetitions.

Sounds weird, when it goes about 20-page long research paper. Yet, being brief means speaking exactly to the point rather than filling up space with lengthy descriptions and examples absolutely topic-unrelated. Besides, esoteric writing, even in scientific research papers sounds boring and incomprehensible. Consequently, short constructions and precise statements make a research paper more readable and thus more conceivable for the audience.

  • Be sharp-eyed when revising

The closing stage of research paper writing is no less important that its initial point. Before the final draft reaches its audience, it needs to be thoroughly cleared out to make sure that none of the mistakes is it grammar error or a misspelling will spoil the general impression of the paper. However, final editing isn’t about correct orthography and grammar rules only. Appropriate paper style and format may come out even stronger than minor aspects. Anyway, both small details and general layout should be considered.

How to Write a Research Paper

How to Write a Research Paper

Few things strike more fear in academics than the accursed research paper , a term synonymous with long hours and hard work. Luckily there’s a secret to help you get through them. As long as you know how to write a research paper properly, you’ll find they’re not so bad . . . or at least less painful.

In this guide we concisely explain how to write an academic research paper step by step. We’ll cover areas like how to start a research paper, how to write a research paper outline, how to use citations and evidence, and how to write a conclusion for a research paper.

But before we get into the details, let’s take a look at what a research paper is and how it’s different from other writing.

What is a research paper?

A research paper is a type of academic writing that provides an in-depth analysis, evaluation, or interpretation of a single topic, based on empirical evidence. Research papers are similar to analytical essays, except that research papers emphasize the use of statistical data and preexisting research, along with a strict code for citations.

Research papers are a bedrock of modern science and the most effective way to share information across a wide network. However, most people are familiar with research papers from school; college courses often use them to test a student’s knowledge of a particular area or their research skills in general.

Considering their gravity, research papers favor formal, even bland language that strips the writing of any bias. Researchers state their findings plainly and with corresponding evidence so that other researchers can consequently use the paper in their own research.

Keep in mind that writing a research paper is different from writing a research proposal . Essentially, research proposals are to acquire the funding needed to get the data to write a research paper.

How long should a research paper be?

The length of a research paper depends on the topic or assignment. Typically, research papers run around 4,000–6,000 words, but it’s common to see short papers around 2,000 words or long papers over 10,000 words.

If you’re writing a paper for school, the recommended length should be provided in the assignment. Otherwise, let your topic dictate the length: Complicated topics or extensive research will require more explanation.

How to write a research paper in 9 steps

Below is a step-by-step guide to writing a research paper, catered specifically for students rather than professional researchers. While some steps may not apply to your particular assignment, think of this as more of a general guideline to keep you on track.

1 Understand the assignment

For some of you this goes without saying, but you might be surprised at how many students start a research paper without even reading the assignment guidelines.

So your first step should be to review the assignment and carefully read the writing prompt. Specifically, look for technical requirements such as length , formatting requirements (single- vs. double-spacing, indentations, etc.) and citation style . Also pay attention to the particulars, such as whether or not you need to write an abstract or include a cover page.

Once you understand the assignment, the next steps in how to write a research paper follow the usual writing process , more or less. There are some extra steps involved because research papers have extra rules, but the gist of the writing process is the same.

2 Choose your topic

In open-ended assignments, the student must choose their own topic. While it may seem simple enough, choosing a topic is actually the most important decision you’ll make in writing a research paper, since it determines everything that follows.

Your top priority in how to choose a research paper topic is whether it will provide enough content and substance for an entire research paper. You’ll want to choose a topic with enough data and complexity to enable a rich discussion. However, you also want to avoid general topics and instead stick with topics specific enough that you can cover all the relevant information without cutting too much.

Try not to be robotic about choosing your topic, though; it’s still best to pick something that you’re personally interested in. Ideally, you’ll find a topic that satisfies both requirements, something that provides a suitable amount of content and also keeps you engaged.

3 Gather preliminary research

The sooner you start researching, the better—after all, it’s called a research paper for a reason.

To refine your topic and prepare your thesis statement, find out what research is available for your topic as soon as possible. Early research can help dispel any misconceptions you have about the topic and reveal the best paths and approaches to find more material.

Typically, you can find sources either online or in a library. If you’re searching online, make sure you use credible sources like science journals or academic papers. Some search engines—mentioned below in the Tools and resources section—allow you to browse only accredited sources and academic databases.

Keep in mind the difference between primary and secondary sources as you search. Primary sources are firsthand accounts, like published articles or autobiographies; secondary sources are more removed, like critical reviews or secondhand biographies.

When gathering your research, it’s better to skim sources instead of reading each potential source fully. If a source seems useful, set it aside to give it a full read later. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck poring over sources that you ultimately won’t use, and that time could be better spent finding a worthwhile source.

Sometimes you’re required to submit a literature review , which explains your sources and presents them to an authority for confirmation. Even if no literature review is required, it’s still helpful to compile an early list of potential sources—you’ll be glad you did later.

4 Write a thesis statement

Using what you found in your preliminary research, write a thesis statement that succinctly summarizes what your research paper will be about. This is usually the first sentence in your paper, making it your reader’s introduction to the topic.

A thesis statement is the best answer for how to start a research paper. Aside from preparing your reader, the thesis statement also makes it easier for other researchers to assess whether or not your paper is useful to them for their own research. Likewise, you should read the thesis statements of other research papers to decide how useful they are to you.

A good thesis statement mentions all the important parts of the discussion without disclosing too many of the details. If you’re having trouble putting it into words, try to phrase your topic as a question and then answer it .

For example, if your research paper topic is about separating students with ADHD from other students, you’d first ask yourself, “Does separating students with ADHD improve their learning?” The answer—based on your preliminary research—is a good basis for your thesis statement.

5 Determine supporting evidence

At this stage of how to write an academic research paper, it’s time to knuckle down and do the actual research. Here’s when you go through all the sources you collected earlier and find the specific information you’d like to use in your paper.

Normally, you find your supporting evidence by reading each source and taking notes. Isolate only the information that’s directly relevant to your topic; don’t bog down your paper with tangents or unnecessary context, however interesting they may be. And always write down page numbers , not only for you to find the information later, but also because you’ll need them for your citations.

Aside from highlighting text and writing notes, another common tactic is to use bibliography cards . These are simple index cards with a fact or direct quotation on one side and the bibliographical information (source citation, page numbers, subtopic category) on the other. While bibliography cards are not necessary, some students find them useful for staying organized, especially when it’s time to write an outline.

6 Write a research paper outline

A lot of students want to know how to write a research paper outline. More than informal essays, research papers require a methodical and systematic structure to make sure all issues are addressed, and that makes outlines especially important.

First make a list of all the important categories and subtopics you need to cover—an outline for your outline! Consider all the information you gathered when compiling your supporting evidence and ask yourself what the best way to separate and categorize everything is.

Once you have a list of what you want to talk about, consider the best order to present the information. Which subtopics are related and should go next to each other? Are there any subtopics that don’t make sense if they’re presented out of sequence? If your information is fairly straightforward, feel free to take a chronological approach and present the information in the order it happened.

Because research papers can get complicated, consider breaking your outline into paragraphs. For starters, this helps you stay organized if you have a lot of information to cover. Moreover, it gives you greater control over the flow and direction of the research paper. It’s always better to fix structural problems in the outline phase than later after everything’s already been written.

Don’t forget to include your supporting evidence in the outline as well. Chances are you’ll have a lot you want to include, so putting it in your outline helps prevent some things from falling through the cracks.

7 Write the first draft

Once your outline is finished, it’s time to start actually writing your research paper. This is by far the longest and most involved step, but if you’ve properly prepared your sources and written a thorough outline, everything should run smoothly.

If you don’t know how to write an introduction for a research paper, the beginning can be difficult. That’s why writing your thesis statement beforehand is crucial. Open with your thesis statement and then fill out the rest of your introduction with the secondary information—save the details for the body of your research paper, which comes next.

The body contains the bulk of your research paper. Unlike essays , research papers usually divide the body into sections with separate headers to facilitate browsing and scanning. Use the divisions in your outline as a guide.

Follow along your outline and go paragraph by paragraph. Because this is just the first draft, don’t worry about getting each word perfect . Later you’ll be able to revise and fine-tune your writing, but for now focus simply on saying everything that needs to be said. In other words, it’s OK to make mistakes since you’ll go back later to correct them.

One of the most common problems with writing long works like research papers is connecting paragraphs to each other. The longer your writing is, the harder it is to tie everything together smoothly. Use transition sentences to improve the flow of your paper, especially for the first and last sentences in a paragraph.

Even after the body is written, you still need to know how to write a conclusion for a research paper. Just like an essay conclusion , your research paper conclusion should restate your thesis , reiterate your main evidence , and summarize your findings in a way that’s easy to understand.

Don’t add any new information in your conclusion, but feel free to say your own personal perspective or interpretation if it helps the reader understand the big picture.

8 Cite your sources correctly

Citations are part of what sets research papers apart from more casual nonfiction like personal essays . Citing your sources both validates your data and also links your research paper to the greater scientific community. Because of their importance, citations must follow precise formatting rules . . . problem is, there’s more than one set of rules!

You need to check with the assignment to see which formatting style is required. Typically, academic research papers follow one of two formatting styles for citing sources:

    (Modern Language Association) (American Psychological Association)

The links above explain the specific formatting guidelines for each style, along with an automatic citation generator to help you get started.

In addition to MLA and APA styles, you occasionally see requirements for CMOS (The Chicago Manual of Style), AMA (American Medical Association) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Citations may seem confusing at first with all their rules and specific information. However, once you get the hang of them, you’ll be able to properly cite your sources without even thinking about it.

9 Edit and proofread

Last but not least, you want to go through your research paper to correct all the mistakes by proofreading. We recommend going over it twice: once for structural issues such as adding/deleting parts or rearranging paragraphs and once for word choice, grammatical, and spelling mistakes. Doing two different editing sessions helps you focus on one area at a time instead of doing them both at once.

To help you catch everything, here’s a quick checklist to keep in mind while you edit:

Structural edit:

  • Is your thesis statement clear and concise?
  • Is your paper well-organized, and does it flow from beginning to end with logical transitions?
  • Do your ideas follow a logical sequence in each paragraph?
  • Have you used concrete details and facts and avoided generalizations?
  • Do your arguments support and prove your thesis?
  • Have you avoided repetition?
  • Are your sources properly cited?
  • Have you checked for accidental plagiarism?

Word choice, grammar, and spelling edit:

  • Is your language clear and specific?
  • Do your sentences flow smoothly and clearly?
  • Have you avoided filler words and phrases ?
  • Have you checked for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation?

Some people find it useful to read their paper out loud to catch problems they might miss when reading in their head. Another solution is to have someone else read your paper and point out areas for improvement and/or technical mistakes.

Revising is a separate skill from writing, and being good at one doesn’t necessarily make you good at the other. If you want to improve your revision skills, read our guide on self-editing , which includes a more complete checklist and advanced tips on improving your revisions.

Technical issues like grammatical mistakes and misspelled words can be handled effortlessly if you use a spellchecker with your word processor, or even better, a digital writing assistant that also suggests improvements for word choice and tone, like Grammarly (we explain more in the Tools and resources section below).

Tools and resources

If you want to know more about how to write a research paper, or if you want some help with each step, take a look at the tools and resources below.

Google Scholar

This is Google’s own search engine, which is dedicated exclusively to academic papers. It’s a great way to find new research and sources. Plus, it’s free to use.

Zotero

Zotero is a freemium, open-source research manager, a cross between an organizational CMS and a search engine for academic research. With it, you can browse the internet for research sources relevant to your topic and share them easily with colleagues. Also, it automatically generates citations.

FocusWriter

Writing long research papers is always a strain on your attention span. If you have trouble avoiding distractions during those long stretches, FocusWriter might be able to help. FocusWriter is a minimalist word processor that removes all the distracting icons and sticks only to what you type. You’re also free to choose your own customized backgrounds, with other special features like timed alarms, daily goals, and optional typewriter sound effects.

Google Charts

This useful and free tool from Google lets you create simple charts and graphs based on whatever data you input. Charts and graphs are excellent visual aids for expressing numeric data, a perfect complement if you need to explain complicated evidential research.

Grammarly

Grammarly goes way beyond grammar, helping you hone word choice, checking your text for plagiarism, detecting your tone, and more. For foreign-language learners, it can make your English sound more fluent, and even those who speak English as their primary language benefit from Grammarly’s suggestions.

Research paper FAQs

What is a research paper?

A research paper is a piece of academic writing that analyzes, evaluates, or interprets a single topic with empirical evidence and statistical data.

When will I need to write a research paper in college?

Many college courses use research papers to test a student’s knowledge of a particular topic or their research skills in general. While research papers depend on the course or professor, you can expect to write at least a few before graduation.

How do I determine a topic for my research paper?

If the topic is not assigned, try to find a topic that’s general enough to provide ample evidence but specific enough that you’re able to cover all the basics. If possible, choose a topic you’re personally interested in—it makes the work easier.

Where can I conduct research for my paper?

Today most research is conducted either online or in libraries. Some topics might benefit from old periodicals like newspapers or magazines, as well as visual media like documentaries. Museums, parks, and historical monuments can also be useful.

How do I cite sources for a research paper?

The correct formatting for citations depends on which style you’re using, so check the assignment guidelines. Most school research reports use either MLA or APA styles, although there are others.

This article was originally written by Karen Hertzberg in 2017. It’s been updated to include new information.

What Is Methodology in a Research Paper? Definition and Example

When researchers document their studies, they typically include a methodology to describe the processes and outcomes of their research. If you’re covering a thesis topic, submitting a dissertation or documenting a project for your employer, including a methodology helps summarize your studies for readers who review your work. The methodology is also important to provide insight into the validity and reliability of your research.

In this article, we explore what a methodology is, what to include in this part of your paper and how it differs from your research methods with an example of methodology in a research paper.

What is a methodology in a research paper?

The methodology in a research paper, thesis paper or dissertation is the section in which you describe the actions you took to investigate and research a problem and your rationale for the specific processes and techniques you use within your research to identify, collect and analyze information that helps you understand the problem.

The methodology section of your research paper allows readers to evaluate the overall validity and reliability of your study and gives important insight into two key elements of your research: your data collection and analysis processes and your rationale for conducting your research. When writing a methodology for a research paper, it’s important to keep the discussion clear and succinct and write in the past tense.

What to include in a methodology

Students, graduates and other researchers often include several key sections within the methodology section. Consider the following elements when developing a methodology in research papers:

Type of research

The first part of a methodology section usually describes the type of research you perform and how you develop your research methods. This section also discusses the question or problem you investigate through your research and the type of data you need to perform evaluations and research assessments. Additionally, the methodology often includes the criteria your experimental studies need to meet to produce valid and reliable evidence. The information you cover in this part of your methodology allows readers to gain insight into how you measure validity and reliability during your studies.

Data collection process

The methodology also includes an explanation of your data collection process. For instance, if you perform experimental tests on samples, conduct surveys or interviews or use existing data to form new studies, this section of your methodology details what you do and how you do it. Several key details to include in this section of a methodology focus on how you design your experiment or survey, how you collect and organize data and what kind of data you measure. You may also include specific criteria for collecting qualitative and quantitative data.

Data analysis process

Your data analysis approaches are also important in your methodology. Your data analysis describes the methods you use to organize, categorize and study the information you collect through your research processes. For instance, when explaining quantitative methods, you might include details about your data preparation and organization methods along with a brief description of the statistical tests you use. When describing your data analysis processes regarding qualitative methods, you may focus more on how you categorize, code and apply language, text and other observations during your analysis.

Resources, materials and tools

The tools, materials and other resources you need for your research and analysis are also important elements to describe in your methodology. Software programs, mathematical and statistical formulas and other tools that help you perform your research are essential in documenting your methodology. This section of your methodology can also detail any special techniques you apply to collect data and identify important variables. Additionally, your approaches to studying your hypothesis and underlying research questions are essential details in your methodology.

Rationale behind the research

Since your methodology aims to show readers why your research is valid and relevant, the last part of this section of your research paper needs to focus on your rationale. Details like why your studies are relevant, what industries your studies relate to and how other researchers can replicate your results are essential components of this part of your methodology. It’s important to address any approaches you plan to take to continue evaluating your research over time and to cite the primary and secondary sources you use in your research.

Differences between the methodology and methods

Although the methodology section of your research paper includes details about the methods you use in your research, there are several differences between a methodology and the research methods you apply:

Purpose

The overall purpose of your methodology differs from the set of methods you use to apply to your research. While the methodology is the entire section of your research paper that describes your processes, the methods refer to the actual steps you take throughout your research to collect and analyze data. The methodology serves as a summary that demonstrates the validity and reliability of your methods, while the methods you detail in this section of your paper are the scientific approaches to test and make conclusions about the data you study.

Format

The format for a methodology differs from the format you use to list and explain your research and analysis methods. The methodology usually appears at the beginning of your paper and looks like a summary or essay in paragraph form detailing your research validity, process and rationale. The format you use to describe your research and analysis methods can take various forms, depending on the type of research, type of data and type of assessments you use.

For instance, when describing the methods you use to perform quantitative and statistical analyses, the format you use may focus on a graph or chart to display your data. Additionally, the methods you describe within each part of your methodology can include tables or lists to demonstrate your research process and outcomes.

Content

The purpose and format ultimately influence the content that you include in both your methodology and your research method details. However, the content within your entire methodology focuses on delivering a concise summary of your research, approaches and outcomes. Therefore, the content of your methodology includes all aspects of performing your studies. The content in your research paper that details your collection and analysis methods differs because it’s often necessary to explain your scientific approaches and research processes with lists and visual aids (like charts or graphs) to support the information.

Example of a methodology in a research paper

The following example of a methodology in a research paper can provide additional insight into what to include and how to structure yours:

This research paper explains the psychological and emotional effects of a support program for employees with mental illness. The program involved extended and individualized support for employment candidates through a job support agency that maintained contact with candidates after initial job placement to offer support in various ways. I used a 50% random sampling of individuals who took part in the support program through the job support agency between April and October, and who fit the study criteria I developed from previous and similar studies.

My team and I randomly assigned the resulting 350 cases to either the treatment group or the control group, which comprised life skills development and employment training within an in-house workshop environment. My team and I measured all 350 participants upon intake and again at the 90-day threshold of employment. The psychological functioning and self-esteem measurements we used provided significant data on the effects of treatment within both measures, including opposing outcomes that differed from our initial hypothesis.

We found through our research that instead of improved function and higher self-esteem, the individuals within the treatment group displayed lower levels of cognitive and emotional function and lower self-esteem. These results led my research team and I to conclude that individuals who work in roles they find unfulfilling often experience significant decreases in performance due to higher job stress and diminished emotional wellbeing, regardless of their mental health conditions.

How to Write a Good Research Paper

How to Write a Good Research Paper

Writing a research paper is always a headache to most students. The process is difficult and time-consuming but in order to get the desired A, you really need a lot of hard work. However, the best thing about an essay writing service is that it helps improve one’s writing skills and aids in developing ideas and to think logically. So in order for you to achieve these benefits with less anxiety, here are few easy steps to writing a good one.

Study the Assignment Piece Thoroughly

In case you do not figure out, ask questions. Don’t imagine the answers. Make sure that you elaborated the main argument, a unique and appealing question waiting to be resolved by the use of investigation. You ought to make it a point that all components of your paper play part in proof of the thesis statement.

Ensure Main Argument

When you make positive claims that your research paper features a clear and specific paper problem, you should ensure that your main argument is not blurred or even more, subverted by unclear structure within the paper itself. Format applies always to the layout of the total research paper, consisting of section material and order, along with the design within every chapter. Your research argument is much more impressive if you construct it logically, making certain that the many issues to your paper theory are clarified in the relevant order to ensure that the reader can understand you without effort.

Write a Great Thesis

Presenting your thesis in the best way makes for the best grade. A great thesis alone, no matter how clever, unique, nuanced, in-depth and open-ended or really specific, isn’t enough all by itself. You also need to capitalize on the thesis’s potential to unfold into a fantastic presentation, and that involves planning with an outline and good research especially to reach its full potential.

Write an Outline

Prepare an outline for your paper which is based on the theme. This outline is not for any specific reason but it does help you out to formulate a quick recap of your article in the form of an outline. This will help you formulate your introductory paragraph.Use the first sentence of your introductory paragraph as your central idea. The main body of the research paper has to be the body of your introduction. You can use the outline of the research paper to write your body and your conclusion too.

Ask Someone to Read Your Writing

To go from a working copy to a final draft requires outside help. You need an expert in the field, or at least someone in your intended audience to read for content. This person should challenge your ideas and conclusions. The person must also understand what you meant to say. This will lead to a more cohesive research paper. Also he will need to proof the paper for grammar, spelling and style.

Research papers are not easy to write but you’ve got to spend some time and effort to frame it well.Good luck and have fun in working with that research paper.

Interesting Research Paper Topics

There are so many different topics to write about, and the most important thing you could do for your writing is to select the best topics to write about in your niche. These topics will have lots of search volume. This is so important if you want your research paper to be taken seriously.There are few things to consider when choosing a research paper title for your research paper topic. Do they match? Do other research papers authors overuse the research paper title? It is okay to have the same research paper title for your research paper topic as someone else. The same use of a research paper title for your research paper topic is not legally binding. But, you should consider a fairly unique research paper title for your research paper topic so your research paper stands alone as much as possible.

Target Audience

You need to really know who your target market is. You need to understand what these people want, need and desire. How can you help them? What can you teach them? These are questions you can easily answer by using the Google keyword tool. Open this tool and search for keywords related to your niche topic. Once the results come up, you’ll have a better understanding of what these people really want. This is crucial for deciding on which research paper topics to write about.

Once you have chosen an area to write about, visit online and offline locations where people visit who are also interested in those same topics. Online sources may include search engines, forums, and blogs or join a discussion group.

Offline resources may include magazines, books, newspapers, journals and white papers.After visiting some of these sources you will soon get an idea what to write about. Reading research papers written by others will stimulate your writing juices. Everyone has their own unique writing style so don’t copy anyone else’s research paper. Uniquely written research papers get read more often and rank higher in the search engines.

Research on the Internet

While the internet is certainly filled with great resources for good research papers, the real secret to finding interesting topics is to understand what people are talking about and asking questions on. This will allow you to discover what really excites people in your niche and increases the value of your research paper. Once you started creating a few research papers using these methods, keep up the pace and maintain your writing style to ensure you always have a steady supply of interesting topics to write about.

Research papers are not easy to write but you’ve got to spend some time and effort to frame it well.

Whenever you think of a new interesting topic, write it down for future reference, and then when you get stuck on a subject you can refer back to this paper. It will save hours of your time deciding what to write about. You can also develop many research papers simultaneously because you have already done the necessary topic preparation.

How to write an introduction for a research paper

Beginnings are hard. Beginning a research paper is no exception. Many students—and pros—struggle with how to write an introduction for a research paper.

This short guide will describe the purpose of a research paper introduction and how to create a good one.

a research paper being viewed on a Acer TravelMate B311 2-in-1 on desk with pad of paper.

What is an introduction for a research paper?

Introductions to research papers do a lot of work.

It may seem obvious, but introductions are always placed at the beginning of a paper. They guide your reader from a general subject area to the narrow topic that your paper covers. They also explain your paper’s:

  • Scope: The topic you’ll be covering
  • Context: The background of your topic
  • Importance: Why your research matters in the context of an industry or the world

Your introduction will cover a lot of ground. However, it will only be half of a page to a few pages long. The length depends on the size of your paper as a whole. In many cases, the introduction will be shorter than all of the other sections of your paper.

Why is an introduction vital to a research paper?

The introduction to your research paper isn’t just important. It’s critical.

Your readers don’t know what your research paper is about from the title. That’s where your introduction comes in. A good introduction will:

  • Help your reader understand your topic’s background
  • Explain why your research paper is worth reading
  • Offer a guide for navigating the rest of the piece
  • Pique your reader’s interest

Without a clear introduction, your readers will struggle. They may feel confused when they start reading your paper. They might even give up entirely. Your introduction will ground them and prepare them for the in-depth research to come.

What should you include in an introduction for a research paper?

Research paper introductions are always unique. After all, research is original by definition. However, they often contain six essential items. These are:

  • An overview of the topic. Start with a general overview of your topic. Narrow the overview until you address your paper’s specific subject. Then, mention questions or concerns you had about the case. Note that you will address them in the publication.
  • Prior research. Your introduction is the place to review other conclusions on your topic. Include both older scholars and modern scholars. This background information shows that you are aware of prior research. It also introduces past findings to those who might not have that expertise.
  • A rationale for your paper. Explain why your topic needs to be addressed right now. If applicable, connect it to current issues. Additionally, you can show a problem with former theories or reveal a gap in current research. No matter how you do it, a good rationale will interest your readers and demonstrate why they must read the rest of your paper.
  • Describe the methodology you used. Recount your processes to make your paper more credible. Lay out your goal and the questions you will address. Reveal how you conducted research and describe how you measured results. Moreover, explain why you made key choices.
  • A thesis statement. Your main introduction should end with a thesis statement. This statement summarizes the ideas that will run through your entire research article. It should be straightforward and clear.
  • An outline. Introductions often conclude with an outline. Your layout should quickly review what you intend to cover in the following sections. Think of it as a roadmap, guiding your reader to the end of your paper.

These six items are emphasized more or less, depending on your field. For example, a physics research paper might emphasize methodology. An English journal article might highlight the overview.

Three tips for writing your introduction

We don’t just want you to learn how to write an introduction for a research paper. We want you to learn how to make it shine.

There are three things you can do that will make it easier to write a great introduction. You can:

11.1 The Purpose of Research Writing

Why was the Great Wall of China built? What have scientists learned about the possibility of life on Mars? What roles did women play in the American Revolution? How does the human brain create, store, and retrieve memories? Who invented the game of football, and how has it changed over the years?

You may know the answers to these questions off the top of your head. If you are like most people, however, you find answers to tough questions like these by searching the Internet, visiting the library, or asking others for information. To put it simply, you perform research.

Whether you are a scientist, an artist, a paralegal, or a parent, you probably perform research in your everyday life. When your boss, your instructor, or a family member asks you a question that you do not know the answer to, you locate relevant information, analyze your findings, and share your results. Locating, analyzing, and sharing information are key steps in the research process, and in this chapter, you will learn more about each step. By developing your research writing skills, you will prepare yourself to answer any question no matter how challenging.

Reasons for Research

When you perform research, you are essentially trying to solve a mystery—you want to know how something works or why something happened. In other words, you want to answer a question that you (and other people) have about the world. This is one of the most basic reasons for performing research.

But the research process does not end when you have solved your mystery. Imagine what would happen if a detective collected enough evidence to solve a criminal case, but she never shared her solution with the authorities. Presenting what you have learned from research can be just as important as performing the research. Research results can be presented in a variety of ways, but one of the most popular—and effective—presentation forms is the research paper . A research paper presents an original thesis, or purpose statement, about a topic and develops that thesis with information gathered from a variety of sources.

If you are curious about the possibility of life on Mars, for example, you might choose to research the topic. What will you do, though, when your research is complete? You will need a way to put your thoughts together in a logical, coherent manner. You may want to use the facts you have learned to create a narrative or to support an argument. And you may want to show the results of your research to your friends, your teachers, or even the editors of magazines and journals. Writing a research paper is an ideal way to organize thoughts, craft narratives or make arguments based on research, and share your newfound knowledge with the world.

Exercise 1

Write a paragraph about a time when you used research in your everyday life. Did you look for the cheapest way to travel from Houston to Denver? Did you search for a way to remove gum from the bottom of your shoe? In your paragraph, explain what you wanted to research, how you performed the research, and what you learned as a result.

Research Writing and the Academic Paper

No matter what field of study you are interested in, you will most likely be asked to write a research paper during your academic career. For example, a student in an art history course might write a research paper about an artist’s work. Similarly, a student in a psychology course might write a research paper about current findings in childhood development.

Having to write a research paper may feel intimidating at first. After all, researching and writing a long paper requires a lot of time, effort, and organization. However, writing a research paper can also be a great opportunity to explore a topic that is particularly interesting to you. The research process allows you to gain expertise on a topic of your choice, and the writing process helps you remember what you have learned and understand it on a deeper level.

Research Writing at Work

Knowing how to write a good research paper is a valuable skill that will serve you well throughout your career. Whether you are developing a new product, studying the best way to perform a procedure, or learning about challenges and opportunities in your field of employment, you will use research techniques to guide your exploration. You may even need to create a written report of your findings. And because effective communication is essential to any company, employers seek to hire people who can write clearly and professionally.

Writing at Work

Take a few minutes to think about each of the following careers. How might each of these professionals use researching and research writing skills on the job?

  • Medical laboratory technician
  • Small business owner
  • Information technology professional
  • Freelance magazine writer

A medical laboratory technician or information technology professional might do research to learn about the latest technological developments in either of these fields. A small business owner might conduct research to learn about the latest trends in his or her industry. A freelance magazine writer may need to research a given topic to write an informed, up-to-date article.

Exercise 2

Think about the job of your dreams. How might you use research writing skills to perform that job? Create a list of ways in which strong researching, organizing, writing, and critical thinking skills could help you succeed at your dream job. How might these skills help you obtain that job?

Steps of the Research Writing Process

How does a research paper grow from a folder of brainstormed notes to a polished final draft? No two projects are identical, but most projects follow a series of six basic steps.

These are the steps in the research writing process:

  1. Choose a topic.
  2. Plan and schedule time to research and write.
  3. Conduct research.
  4. Organize research and ideas.
  5. Draft your paper.
  6. Revise and edit your paper.

Each of these steps will be discussed in more detail later in this chapter. For now, though, we will take a brief look at what each step involves.

Step 1: Choosing a Topic

As you may recall from Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?”, to narrow the focus of your topic, you may try freewriting exercises, such as brainstorming. You may also need to ask a specific research question —a broad, open-ended question that will guide your research—as well as propose a possible answer, or a working thesis . You may use your research question and your working thesis to create a research proposal . In a research proposal, you present your main research question, any related subquestions you plan to explore, and your working thesis.

Step 2: Planning and Scheduling

Before you start researching your topic, take time to plan your researching and writing schedule. Research projects can take days, weeks, or even months to complete. Creating a schedule is a good way to ensure that you do not end up being overwhelmed by all the work you have to do as the deadline approaches.

During this step of the process, it is also a good idea to plan the resources and organizational tools you will use to keep yourself on track throughout the project. Flowcharts, calendars, and checklists can all help you stick to your schedule. See Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?”, Section 11.2 “Steps in Developing a Research Proposal” for an example of a research schedule.

Step 3: Conducting Research

When going about your research, you will likely use a variety of sources—anything from books and periodicals to video presentations and in-person interviews.

Your sources will include both primary sources and secondary sources . Primary sources provide firsthand information or raw data. For example, surveys, in-person interviews, and historical documents are primary sources. Secondary sources, such as biographies, literary reviews, or magazine articles, include some analysis or interpretation of the information presented. As you conduct research, you will take detailed, careful notes about your discoveries. You will also evaluate the reliability of each source you find.

Step 4: Organizing Research and the Writer’s Ideas

When your research is complete, you will organize your findings and decide which sources to cite in your paper. You will also have an opportunity to evaluate the evidence you have collected and determine whether it supports your thesis, or the focus of your paper. You may decide to adjust your thesis or conduct additional research to ensure that your thesis is well supported.

Remember, your working thesis is not set in stone. You can and should change your working thesis throughout the research writing process if the evidence you find does not support your original thesis. Never try to force evidence to fit your argument. For example, your working thesis is “Mars cannot support life-forms.” Yet, a week into researching your topic, you find an article in the New York Times detailing new findings of bacteria under the Martian surface. Instead of trying to argue that bacteria are not life forms, you might instead alter your thesis to “Mars cannot support complex life-forms.”

Step 5: Drafting Your Paper

Now you are ready to combine your research findings with your critical analysis of the results in a rough draft. You will incorporate source materials into your paper and discuss each source thoughtfully in relation to your thesis or purpose statement.

When you cite your reference sources, it is important to pay close attention to standard conventions for citing sources in order to avoid plagiarism , or the practice of using someone else’s words without acknowledging the source. Later in this chapter, you will learn how to incorporate sources in your paper and avoid some of the most common pitfalls of attributing information.

Step 6: Revising and Editing Your Paper

In the final step of the research writing process, you will revise and polish your paper. You might reorganize your paper’s structure or revise for unity and cohesion, ensuring that each element in your paper flows into the next logically and naturally. You will also make sure that your paper uses an appropriate and consistent tone.

Once you feel confident in the strength of your writing, you will edit your paper for proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and formatting. When you complete this final step, you will have transformed a simple idea or question into a thoroughly researched and well-written paper you can be proud of!

Exercise 3

Review the steps of the research writing process. Then answer the questions on your own sheet of paper.

Tips for Writing an Effective Research Paper

Tips for Writing an Effective Research Paper

If you aren’t familiar with what a research paper is, let me give you’re a rundown of the definition: a research paper is a form of academic writing that has theoretical and substantial information that has gone through the proper process of in-depth research. It could contain arguments based on a thesis with significant evidence from a variety of supporting and reliable sources.

If you ask many individuals, they may say that writing a research paper is one challenging and meticulous task. But with enough practice throughout the years in school, it could be much easier once you get used to it. It definitely is meticulous because of the intensive research that comes with it, but if you really look at the big picture of it, a research paper just needs a few basic tips for it to be less challenging for individuals that are struggling. Before we start with the tips for writing an effective research paper, have the following materials:

  • Note paper (make sure you have enough because you may be jotting down a lot of notes)
  • Two or three different colored highlighters (for highlighting notes)
  • Index cards

Organization is Key

Follow these substantial steps to be organized in writing a research paper:

  • Select your topic carefully
  • Choose sources that will be helpful and make sure they are reliable
  • Index cards should be used to jot down helpful notes that you may need throughout the process or writing
  • Your notes should be organized based on the topic it is under
  • Have an outline that is well thought of
  • Write a first draft so you have a skeleton of what your research paper
  • Go through your first draft, read it thoroughly and re-write
  • Edit when it is needed

Do the proper research

If you want to find helpful and reliable sources of information, the library is literally the best place to look around. There are numerous books, published articles, journals and etc. that you can choose from about your chosen topic. Choose a comfortable place in your local library where you are away from distractions and you can focus on the work that needs to be done. Try using the card catalog and computers available to make your search easier.

Choose your research topic carefully

If you have the freedom to choose what your research paper could be about, take advantage of the situation and choose a topic that you are interested in or a topic you are curious about. By doing this, it gives you motivation to do necessary research for it. Be specific when selecting a topic because most writers make a mistake in choosing a topic that is too general.

Jot down the proper notes

Like our first tip, be organized when it comes to writing down your notes. Take note of the information that will only be of help to you. Try color coding your notes by topic and you can use highlighters for marking the beneficial details so you can find that specific topic very easily. If you’re allowed, you can also photocopy an article or page from a book that you’ll need. This is best if there is too much to note down on paper. It will definitely save you time. Every time you note something down, make sure to write down the bibliographical information such as the author, the book title, page numbers used, volume number and publisher’s name and vital dates.

Brainstorm an outline

After in-depth research, you can proceed to writing an outline. With all the notes and vital information that you gathered, start brainstorming where those certain topics fit in. To “brainstorm an outline” doesn’t mean that they have to be structured in sentences. Note down what part would be the beginning, middle and end. This is the part where your research paper starts to take shape.

Write a first draft

After your outline, you can start on your first draft. Take your outline and get the ideas jotted down and form sentences and paragraphs with them. This is the part where you put more detail and life into the paper so people can read it and actually understand it. You can do more needed research if you feel like you’re lacking information. This is only the first draft, so you can still make changes as you go on.

Proofread and write your final paper

Once you reread your first draft over and over and make the necessary changes you feel you should make, it is time to write your final draft. Make sure that all the vital information is included and your paragraphs and sentences make sense and has a steady and natural flow all throughout. Check for typographical and grammatical errors. Spelling is also another thing you want to check for. Make sure that every source that you used is in the bibliography page because this is vital to your research paper.

When you’re finished with your final paper, do the final adjustments as needed. Read it as many times as you want and even ask a friend or professor to go through it and give out their opinion.

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