Steps to Write a Research Paper
College student have to write at least one research paper before completing their graduation. Writing a good research paper can be a difficult task for you if you have never done it before.
Research paper writing can be a challenging task, but with a little practice, it can become an important part of your academic and professional toolkit. Below are the tips for how to write a research paper.
Step 1. Choose a Topic
Sometimes college students are assigned with their research paper topics by their mentors, but if you are blessed enough to choose your topic wisely. Read how to choose Research Paper Topic
Step 2. Write a Working Thesis Statement
Prepare a thesis statement before start writing a research paper because it will guide your investigation and will help you stay focused on your topic. Your thesis statement should be short and reflect the type of paper you are writing. research papers can be divided into 3 categories:
- Argumentative or persuasive if you are arguing the conclusion.
- Expository when you explain information.
- Analytical when you present your analysis of certain information.
You have to spend enough time to make a good strong thesis statement so that your project has a clear purpose. Your thesis should be arguable and narrow because you should support your claims by evidence. If your claim is broad, you will need more evidence to convince your readers that you are right. Here is an example of a debatable thesis statement:
Smoking causes mouth cancer.
Step 3. Do Research on Your Topic
You should find enough primary and secondary information sources on the topic of your paper, wisely read all of them, and find relevant evidence to support your topic. At this stage, you should gather all your sources, and start writing your sources according to a citation style specified by your mentor (Harvard, APA, MLA, Chicago, Oxford etc.)
Step 4. Make a Good Outline
Your research has given you dozens of great ideas. Now you have to form them to make an impressive presentation. You need an outline you organized your work properly, without it your project will lack focus and you will require more time for editing your draft trying to make sense of your mixed-up views. So don’t skip this important step. In this part, you have to finalize your thesis and create an outline that you plan to cover and that will help you to keep focused on your work.
When writing an outline, remember a general research paper structure that includes:
• a title page;
• an abstract;
• an introduction;
• a methodology section;
But if your research paper is not long, its format may include only an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In any case, you should follow specific guidelines provided by your Mentor. Read More About How to make Research Paper Outline
Step 5. Write the First Draft
Now you have a clear direction and it’s time to write the first draft with a title, in-text citations, and a reference page.
The title page is very important if you want to make a good impression on your readers because it’s the first thing that they see. It makes their view on what exactly they should expect in your paper. You should list the keyword that present the topic of your paper, mention the methods you will use and the results that you will be expecting to achieve. Now write the sentences that have all the keywords that you listed. Delete the unnecessary words.
After that, you need to make the flow with the remaining ones. Finally, you have to delete unwanted info and write the remaining words in an organized manner. You can also use the subtitle. Make sure that your title is short.
Afterward, you need to write an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Read How to Write a Research Paper
Step 6. Do Editing and Proofreading
You have to read your draft multiple times and may you have to do a lot of changes in it. Check the logic, flow of your work, recheck the structure and order of your paragraphs. You should make sure that all your ideas are written in your paper with supporting evidence. You may need to add some section headings.
Next, you have to check and words and phrases, improve word choice, make the flow between sentences and paragraph and correct mistakes in punctuation and grammar if you find any. You should look for
- Incomplete sentences.
- Easily confused words (such as to, too, and two).
- Spelling mistakes.
You will need to re-read your paper several times. A good way is to read your paper loudly. You may request your friends or family members to review your research paper and give their opinion about it.
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