Before graduating from college, a college student must complete at least one college-level research paper. Since they have never done this before, many students may be really terrified by this.
Academic essays and research papers are quite similar, however, research papers tend to be longer and require more in-depth study. By the end of college, a research paper is typically assigned to students to gauge their abilities and intellectual understanding. So, in order to write a research paper, you must have a thorough comprehension of the subject and access to a variety of informational sources. These are a few factors that contribute to students finding it challenging to create an academic research report.
Therefore, we will exactly outline how to write a research paper in this tutorial and what procedures must be followed to create a perfect research paper.
An academic research paper is what?
A research paper is a lengthy version of an essay in which you analyze and assess an argument on your own. Regarding the gathering of the facts and material, it differs slightly from the essay. When writing a research paper, you must do an in-depth inquiry, find out what other academics have to say on the subject and analyze their findings to arrive at the best conclusions.
Surveys, interviews, or questionnaires are used in research papers to gather the necessary data. A research paper also includes a number of other elements, including an abstract, an introduction, a literature review, a methodology, an analysis, an interpretation, results, etc.
Research Paper Writing in 10 Easy Steps
The stages you must take in order to compose a superb research paper are listed below. However, while using this process, put your writing skills through some practice. Developing your writing abilities will benefit you not just academically but also personally and professionally.
First, comprehend the task.
You may be surprised to learn that many students start a research paper without even reading the directions.
First things first: review the assignment and carefully study the research question. Look at the technical requirements, including length, format (such as single- or double-line spacing, indentations, etc.), and reference style (such as MLA, APA, etc.). Pay attention to the details as well, such as whether or not a cover page is necessary.
The following steps in how to create a research paper then adhere to the standard writing procedure. However, after you have a fundamental comprehension of the project. Since research papers follow different guidelines than essays, there are a few extra processes in addition to the standard writing process.
Second Step: Select a Topic
You must select a topic once you are certain of the specifications for your research paper. Try not to become anxious despite the fact that it could seem stressful. Picking the perfect topic doesn’t have to be stressful; writing about something you care about or are interested in might be beneficial. A heated topic is frequently a great opportunity to practice objectively presenting opposing ideas and, if required, supporting one of them.
Follow your instructor’s guidelines when selecting a topic for your essay. If you’re having trouble combining your favorite subject into the requirements, pick a different topic. Your life will be easier in the long run if you write on a topic that is acceptable for the assignment. It’s important to be interested in the topic you’re writing about, even if you don’t have to love it.
Writing a project is also a great idea once you understand that you have the opportunity to learn something new from this investigation. You won’t need to be an expert yet, but you will have some knowledge of the subject by the time this process is over.
Step III: Begin Your Research
It is preferable to start the study earlier, which is why it is referred to as a “research paper.”
To focus your topic and develop your thesis statement, find as much relevant information that is available or has already been published as you can. Additionally, doing some preliminary research will help you clarify any misconceptions you might have about the topic and point you the ideal places to explore for more information.
Typically, you can find references online or in your campus library. When conducting online research, be sure to choose trustworthy sources like academic papers or scientific journals. On a number of search engines that are part of the Tools and resources that let you browse academic sources, you can only study reliable sources and academic publications.
Additionally, while conducting your research, be sure to distinguish between primary and secondary sources. The most pertinent information or documents are considered primary sources. These sources contain organic data that the researcher further analyzes. While secondary sources are those that are closely related to the primary sources and are used to interpret the primary sources.
It is better to skim and scan sites rather than reading them all in-depth when gathering information for your research. If a source sounds useful, put it aside to read it completely later. Otherwise, you’ll keep reading sources instead of making use of the time you could be saving by finding a trustworthy source.
On occasion, you can be asked to write a literature review that describes your sources and submits them for approval to a relevant body. Making a list of pertinent sources is still useful even if a literature review is not required.
Continue to understand all the different philosophies and theories that surround your topic. This can be done through reading a variety of books, articles, and other works that give a general overview of the topic while considering multiple points of view, or by speaking with an expert who can go into further detail.
Step IV: Sort the Information
What should you now do with all of the information gathered? The fourth step’s goal is organization. Each person uses a different approach in this field, much like in research. Your task could also be important. A bibliography is quite helpful for organizing your study.
If your teacher has instructed you to include a bibliography with your research paper, you should already be familiar with the assignment at this point. Make references that adhere to the requirements of the paper. Adding websites to your browser’s favorites list or creating a digital bibliography that enables you to reference the sources you have found both have advantages. You may decide to use a published list of your sources, or you may prefer to plan your research paper and make a list of all the information you have discovered that is crucial to it.
Create a thesis statement in Step V.
Most people find this to be one of the most challenging sections because many of them are unsure of how to construct a thesis statement for a research paper. Utilizing the knowledge you have gained from your preliminary research, write a thesis statement that succinctly defines the subject of your research paper. The first paragraph of your essay serves as an introduction to the topic for the reader.
Your paper should always start with a thesis statement. This not only gets your reader ready, but it also makes it easier for other academics to assess whether or not your paper will be useful to them for their own research. The thesis statements in previous research articles should be examined to see if they apply to you.
Without giving away many of the specifics, a powerful thesis statement summarizes all the main elements of the argument. If you have trouble expressing anything, you can try framing it as a question and then answering it.
It’s also important to avoid leaving your argument too open-ended. Never be afraid to assertively make your argument. Another crucial element of creating a strong thesis statement is making sure that your argument is disputable. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s contested or firmly held, but it does suggest that others might differ.
Once you’ve developed a thesis statement, it may be helpful to get advice from your manager, tutor, another reputable educator, or a teacher to refine it and make it more specific, debatable, and decisive. After you’ve presented your thesis statement to them, ask them whether they think it’s a solid one that will act as a guide as you write your essay.
Develop an outline in Step VI.
Make sure your research paper corresponds with the example, guidelines, or requirements provided if your supervisor asked for an overview. Even though it is not required, constructing an outline can still be a helpful tool as you put your research paper together.
Creating an outline is simply just a method of paper organization. It’s best to avoid becoming overly traditional, yet following norms and principles might be helpful. It’s acceptable to use the same styles for your college research paper if you did three- to five-paragraph essays in high school. It’s acceptable to use the same styles for a research paper in college if you previously composed three- to five-paragraph essays. It’s acceptable to use the same styles for a research paper in college if you previously composed three- to five-paragraph essays.
If your thesis only contains two main concepts, three or five main sections for your research paper could not make sense. If the assignment needs you to introduce the subject, discuss several points of view on the topic, and then choose and explain your own perspective, your paper will likely need three main sections, one for each of the objectives outlined above.
When you construct an outline, think carefully about what you want to say or how you want to express anything in your research paper. This will help you choose a structure that will enable you to do that succinctly and methodically. Generally speaking, an introduction and a conclusion make sense, but what happens in between depends on the topic of your essay.
It’s a great idea to consider any weak points in your argumentation that you should avoid while outlining your case. Spend some time reviewing the most common logical fallacies if you are unfamiliar with them—your grade could be on the line!
Start writing your research paper in Step VII.
After finishing your overview, you can start writing your research proposal. This is without a doubt the hardest and most time-consuming process, but if your data is properly arranged and your outline is well-written, everything should go as expected.
If you don’t know how to write a research paper introduction, the beginning can be difficult. You can start with your thesis statement and then fill up the rest of the introduction with supporting details. Save specific details for the remainder of the research paper’s body.
However, one of the most typical difficulties in producing extensive works like research papers is connecting phrases and paragraphs. With longer pieces of writing, it becomes more difficult to make everything flow together naturally. Use transitional words to improve the flow of your writing, especially between each paragraph’s first and last sentences.
After the body of the paper has been finished, you still need to know how to write a research paper conclusion. This is fairly similar to the end of an essay, but the conclusion of your research paper should paraphrase your thesis statement, examine your main supporting evidence, and briefly summarize your findings.
Eighth step: Include references
Because of their citations, research papers differ from more informal writing styles like personal essays. You can connect your research piece to the greater scientific community and get your findings validated by citing your sources. Due to their importance, citations must follow particular structural changes, yet there are many different sets of rules!
Check the assignment to see whether a formatting style is required. When acknowledging sources, academic research papers often use one of the two reference types: MLA or APA. However, in addition to these citation formats, you can also use Chicago, Harvard, Turabian, etc.
But references can initially seem difficult because of all the conditions and specifics they have. However, as soon as you comprehend them, you’ll be able to accurately credit your sources without even trying.
Review your research paper in Step IX.
After completing your research report, it is now time to unwind. Over the course of a day or two, read through your thesis one last time. It might be beneficial to grab your paper’s printout and read it if you have only read it so far on a screen. While reading on your screen, though, you could find mistakes that you might have missed.
Additionally, it’s essential to check for grammar and spelling. Although it might seem challenging, there are numerous online resources and programs available. Consult tools like Grammarly if you’re unsure of when to use commas, semicolons, or run-on sentences. Similar to content editing, proofreading for grammar may include multiple iterations.
Submit your Paper in Step X
It’s time to turn in your research paper once you’ve completed it by completing all nine steps. However, before submitting, confirm that you’ve adhered to all the guidelines set forth by your instructor or supervisor. Additionally, waiting until the last minute is not advised. In order to prevent any last-minute inconveniences, try to print out your paper at least 24 hours before submission. In addition, regardless of how many days remain, it is very appreciated if you submit your work as soon as it is finished.
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