By Mitch Rice
Writing a research paper is the ultimate task you have when you are nearly graduating. However, it is also one of the most complex tasks you may get, which requires great time and resources invested in the process. At some point, you may feel defeated by the long list of requirements you need to follow. You may feel defeated by the huge research you need to conduct to find information and arguments that support your hypothesis. Writing a research paper is a time-consuming activity and you need to invest a lot of time in the whole process. This is one of the most long-term goals and tasks students get.
The best thing about it is that you choose a professor that coordinates your activity and guides you along these stormy waters. But even though it may seem like the most insurmountable and challenging task, with the help of the right service and a bunch of motivation and inspiration, you can easily do the job. You may find yourself staring at a white paper, waiting for an idea to come and kick off your writing skills. But this is one of the mistakes many students make when starting to work on their research papers.
A research paper is a complex paper that focuses on some key ingredients that cannot be missed. Waiting for an idea to pop up in your mind and help you start with something is not the best approach. Instead, you should follow 7 easy steps to help you master the art of writing research papers and impressing your teacher with the results. So, let’s see what to start with.
1. Choose Your Topic
Maybe one of the reasons no idea pops up in your mind is because you do not know what your research paper will be about. This is the first and maybe the most important step of the process. A research paper is a complex and challenging paper you will be asked to write, but one that helps you improve your existing skills and develop new ones.
This is because a research paper might be similar in some ways to an assignment or essay, but it also has some features that are unique to research papers. Students are asked to conduct research on the topic they have chosen. This means that while you expect to find some facts about certain things, you need to collect data that confirms or not your hypothesis. A research paper is not only about reading studies and articles on your chosen topic and then sharing the most valuable information. A research paper is about more than this and this is why you need a good topic.
So, choosing your topic is the first step you need to make. You may feel lost in front of this first step, especially if you had not written a research paper or other similar paper until now. There are a few considerations you need to keep in mind when choosing your topic. You could start with a topic you are passionate about. Something you would love to find out more about. If you choose a topic you like, it will be easier to be engaged in the entire writing and researching process. If you have no topic idea that goes through your head, then you could consider brainstorming. Note down all the topic ideas that go through your head and then carefully analyze them.
2. Read the Requirements and Guidelines Carefully
The second step you need to continue with is reading the requirements and guidelines carefully. This is an essential step you cannot skip because it offers you the most important and valuable information. Every professor is looking for a specific format. If not them, the university or college for sure. There are some requirements your final draft needs to follow such as the format of the text, font size and type, limit of pages, number of references, and so on. Even though these might seem that are just making everything harder, they are guidelines that help you. Understanding that there are some rules you need to follow is important because it will help you plan the whole process and finish the research paper in time.
3. Write a Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is one of the most important features of a research paper. It is important to invest time in writing a good thesis statement because it will guide your future work and research. The thesis statement is a short, concise, and logical statement you make and expose in the introduction. This thesis statement guides your next work, so it would be useful to build it before you start researching. This way, you will know what studies and articles you need to research and read that develop your thesis statement even more. The thesis statement gives a purpose to your paper, so it is important to create and develop a strong one.
4. Start Researching
The next step after you have chosen your topic, wrote your thesis statement, and acknowledged the requirements and guidelines you need to follow is to start your research. You already have the topic of your research paper and your thesis statement. Now, you need to collect and organize data, facts, statistics, and bits of information that confirm and support your point of view. When researching, it is important to take into consideration some important tips and tricks. A research paper is a paper that should be written coherently and logically. All the sources you use in your research should be fact-based. Avoid informing from sources that are not high-authoritative, such as Wikipedia. Choose scientific journals and publications that are well-known for their rugosity.
When doing your research, it is important to take notes and document all the sources you have read. To make your life easier, you can note them down with the citation style you need to use.
5. Write the Outline
Many students underestimate the help an outline comes with. They see it as an unnecessary step they can skip because it brings no benefits. But this is wrong. An outline helps you organize your ideas logically and clearly. It represents the structure you will later build your research paper on. Having an outline makes you more in control of the entire writing process.
First, you need to go through your notes and start organizing your ideas. Maybe you have some key points you want to focus more on, so they could be your chapters. Organize your ideas on headings and subheadings and then sort the information according to your structure.
6. Start Writing
The next step is to start expanding your outline even more. If you have the structure of your research paper, everything should run smoothly because you also have notes and information to include there. A research paper should start with the introduction where you present your thesis statement and introduce your topic. Next, you should back up your thesis statements with key findings and results from your research. The next chapter is the methodology, where you give more details about your survey or study, the participants, their demographics, the tests used, and so on. In what follows next, present your findings and results. End the research paper with a conclusion where you discuss the implications of your results and the limitations of the research.
7. Edit and Proofread
After you have created your first draft, let it set aside. For a few days, do not think of it. Then, you can return to reading it. You will see that with a fresh mind and perspective you will spot any grammar or spelling mistakes you may have. You may also choose to rephrase some of the sentences or replace some words. During this last step, you polish your research paper and make sure your final draft is mistake-free and written clearly and logically. Moreover, make sure you have followed the format requirements and guidelines.
Writing a research paper might seem scary at the beginning, but by following these 7 easy steps, you can make the entire process smoother. Make sure to not skip any of them because each step has its importance and adds more value to the entire writing process. Even though it may seem complicated and difficult, writing a research paper is a challenge that improves and develops you. It is a challenge every student can overcome. Focus all your productivity and motivation towards achieving this goal and graduating. You can do it!