Sometimes being tasked with writing a research paper can seem intimidating, but the reality is that when approached in the correct manner, writing a paper is quite simple. This guide tells you the steps that are needed to write a research paper that will come together with ease and impress your teacher or professor.
Choosing the Topic
The first and most significant step in writing a research paper is choosing the appropriate topic. The topic should be one that both captures your interest and challenges you. It is essential to approach a topic with an attitude that will determine the level of effort and enthusiasm put into research. When selecting a topic, make sure it is narrowed down from something broad to something specific and approved by the teacher before starting research. It is advisable to stay away from topics that are too specialized or have a narrow range of source materials.
Finding the Information
After deciding on the topic, the next step is to gather information. Using a search engine is an excellent starting point for research. When exploring websites, pay close attention to the domain name extensions, as this will provide information on who owns the domain, such as the government with .gov, a nonprofit organization with .org, or an educational institution with .edu.
Other resources besides websites include magazines, newspapers, government publications, encyclopedias, almanacs, and regular books. It is crucial to identify reputable sources of information that will provide relevant and accurate information for the research paper.
Thesis and Outline
A thesis statement is a declaration of beliefs, and the body of the essay will contain arguments that support and defend this thesis statement. The purpose of the outline is to think through the topic carefully and organize the paper in a logical manner before beginning to write it. All of the points in the outline should relate back to the thesis statement. The outline should include an introduction, body, and conclusion, and all of the points covered should logically flow from one to the other.
Organize Notes and Write the First Draft
After completing the outline, the next step is to gather all the information according to the outline and use the best sources available. It is essential to check for accuracy in the data collected. If available, opposing views should be noted to help support the thesis statement. This is the most critical part of writing the paper because you analyze, combine, sort, and digest information that has been gathered to learn more about the topic.
All the ideas in the outline should be summarized, paraphrased, or directly quoted to make up the first draft. The initial draft can always be revised and edited before the final draft.
Revising the Outline and Draft
After writing the first draft, the next step is to read the paper and correct any content errors. Double check any facts that have been included. Rearrange ideas so that they follow the outline. Edit the outline if needed, but always keep the purpose of the paper in mind. Also, run the paper through a grammar and proofreading checker.
The Final Draft
The final draft should be typed and printed in good quality. Refer back to the assignment sheet to ensure that the essay meets the requirements. Proofread the final paper for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Plan to have the final paper done at least two days before the deadline, giving you the chance to check the paper over and have peace of mind that the assignment is finished on time.
In conclusion, writing a research paper is a combination of gathering credible information and arranging this information into a way that makes sense. When following this approach, it will become clear what is needed to create an outstanding paper. Always follow the instructions given by the teacher or professor, as this will be the best bet in presenting the information required for a good grade.
1. Choosing the Topic
2. Finding the Information
3. Thesis and Outline
4. Organize Notes and Write the First Draft
5. Revising the Outline and Draft
6. The Final Draft