Writing a research paper isn’t always easy, especially when you’ve never written one before or it feels like ages since you last wrote. A smart way to overcome the fear and quickly tackle a research assignment constructively is presented further.
There are three vital elements to consider when deciding on a topic: interest, information, and focus. Just because it’s a research paper doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Remember that your topic is further explained in subsequent paragraphs, so it has to have an eye-catching detail that motivates you and your readers, if possible. Your topic should be broad in which you can have adequate research information about, including the most relevant details. It is from the combination of an interesting and informative topic that you tend to write with utmost concentration.
Read and Keep a Rough Draft
You can set aside a small notebook for taking down useful data while conducting your research. Read general articles on your topic and take note of specific things like an article's author and text format. Include the page numbers, quotations, and other references that you may likely refer back to when you begin writing. In essence, read articles and keep a rough draft of necessary information prior to writing your research, proper.
Make an Outline
This is where you organize all you’ve jotted down from reading through and wide about your topic. An outline will help you re-organize all the important and provocative information that you took account of in your draft. At this point, you can arrange or group the sourced ideas you attained, eliminating the ones that later have no crucial essence for your research paper.
Develop a Thesis
Your thesis should be well-defined and have a focus. It can consist of three to five points, but revised later if needed. You should develop your main ideas into about two sentences that will be a central focus throughout your paper.
After you’ve undertaken the preliminary research process, you can now begin an extensive research that goes beyond texts about your topic. Use the Internet, electronic databases, news articles, and other reliable sources to get an ample amount of information. In your draft, write down important details and supporting examples. Remember to distinguish quotations and paraphrased statements. Take note of the following at this juncture:
- Expert opinions are often better than general opinions.
- More recent are better acknowledged than older ones, but it usually depends on the topic.
- Don’t be too dependent on online information as they vary in quality
- Avoid plagiarism when directly sourcing information
Revise the Outline
The outline you structured should now have much more information after your wider research. Revise the content again and aim for balance in developing your primary points spelt out in your thesis. Return to the library if needed to evenly develop your points or revise your thesis statement.
Draft from the Middle
This has to do with constructing the body paragraphs of your paper, but beginning with a thesis statement. Elaborate on the content of your thesis by logically and systematically validating the ideas with supporting details. Ignore the conclusion as well.
Now that you have established all the earlier stages, you can now perform an absolute revision while reading all you have put down. Inspect that your body paragraphs explain a single point for each derived from your thesis. Ensure you paraphrased and inserted quotes correctly with due crediting.
Write the Introduction & Conclusion
This is where you now draft your beginning and ending in one paragraph for each. When writing your introductory paragraph, remember to insert your thesis statement at the end. The conclusion for your research paper shouldn’t just have a rephrased thesis statement, but serve as a reference point to your main ideas in brief. Do not omit citations, and ensure you cite only in the required format.
Proofread the Paper
You don’t have to instantly inspect your work for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Just take a break after you’ve completed the writing aspect of your research. Your mind needs to relax so you don’t feel anxious to finish everything at one go. In essence, take a later time out to proofread your paper for possible errors. The point here is to allow you to read your essay afresh with a relaxed mind as you take your time to revisit certain areas that can be retouched or corrected.