Staring at a blank page, wondering how to start writing a research paper — trying hard to avoid procrastinating at all cost yet still finding it challenging to write a A+ worth research paper?
It’s not a secret that research papers are vital in shaping your total G.P.A. It’s every student’s dream to achieve academic success. However, it may not be as easy as it may seem. Most students struggle to meet the daunting requirements in their academics.
If you are struggling to handle the pressure of delivering a well-written research paper, well, you’re not alone — we’re here to tell you that studying shouldn’t be frustrating. To ease your troubles and boost your grades, we offer you these two options:
- Read our step-by-step guide on how to write a research paper
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How to Write a Research Paper – Step-by-Step Guide
Research papers are often complex and intimidating. But with the right knowledge and skills, it doesn’t have to be a painful process. If you’re not sure how to start a research paper, read on as we highlight all the critical steps.
Here are a few tips to help you master the art of research paper writing.
- Choose a Topic: Wondering how to start a research paper? Well, a great topic is the best starting point. If you are lucky, your course professor or tutor will provide a topic for the research paper. If not, you have to choose a relevant topic wisely. Try to come up with a research paper topic that is narrow enough to focus on a specific issue, but also broad enough to provide adequate information to meet word count requirements. If this doesn’t work, consult your professor for hints and insights.
- Develop a Thesis Statement: The importance of a working thesis statement cannot be emphasized enough – it may make or break your entire research paper. Typically, a thesis statement guides the investigation or direction of your paper. It should be concise, debatable, and clearly show your position. The thesis is placed at the end of the first paragraph – and keep in mind that its structure depends on the type of research paper (analytical, expository, argumentative, etc.)
- Do the Research: Armed with a winning topic and thesis statement, find information from reputable sources (Note: Wikipedia is NOT an option) to support your argument. Ensure you evaluate the reliability of the sources and document them for referencing as per the specified citation style (MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago, etc.). For better results, use peer-reviewed articles or government websites as your sources. You can also look at other research papers online, but make sure you cite and reference the authors appropriately to avoid plagiarism. If the research paper instructions do not state the number of sources required, the general rule of thumb is to use 1 source for every page.
- Create an Outline: “The topic, thesis statement, and research have been done. Now, how do I write my research paper?” By now, you should have a good understanding of the subject and a mental picture of how your final paper will look. But if you did your research thoroughly, you likely have a ton of information at your disposal. Creating an outline helps narrow down your points in a logical manner. Listing the main arguments allows you to keep track of your progress as you write the actual research paper. It also ensures that each argument is adequately covered with convincing evidence and the paragraphs are evenly spaced out.
- Write the Introduction: The introduction is where you capture the interest of the ready and set the stage for your research paper. The opening sentence must be catchy to set the mood and the rest of the introduction should be comprehensive enough to give the reader an idea of what the paper aims to accomplish. A well-written introduction should be concise (around half a page) and include relevant definitions, a justification for the paper, main ideas, and the thesis statement at the end.
- Write the Main Body (Supporting Arguments): This is where you write the ‘flesh’ of the research paper. The body consists of the main ideas and supporting evidence by reliable sources from your research. Depending on the length of the paper, it’s advisable to organize the arguments into heading and subheading for readability.
- Conclude: Although the conclusion is often ignored and written haphazardly, it’s an important element of an effective research paper. It reiterates the main argument and summarizes how you supported the thesis statement. Please note that the conclusion must not introduce any new information other than what you’ve already discussed in the introduction and main body.
- Proofread: Take a break and come back later to re-read the entire document word-for-word – keeping an eye for any grammatical, punctuation, or contextual errors. Also, ensure that the document flows logically with seamless transitions from one paragraph to another. For assurance purposes, consider using proofreading software to identify minor and hard-to-find mistakes.
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