A research paper is a substantial piece of academic writing usually required for a class, and it can take different forms. Students in colleges or universities are likely to encounter a class that tests their knowledge on how to write a research paper, which is why it is important to learn the art (and really exceed at it). The process can be messy and challenging for those who are clueless on how to write a research paper, but if done right can be very fun and interesting.
Select a topic
The first step in writing a research paper is to select the research paper topic. Choosing a subject area for the research paper gives you a variety of options for the topic. The topic of choice should be interesting but challenging at the same time. Ask yourself questions to be able to frame your research paper topics. Furthermore, avoid topics that are too broad as they may complicate the research process. Your attitude will determine the effort and enthusiasm you apply into the research of the research paper topics. Select a topic that is within your ability and stay away from technical, controversial or specialized topics.
State the objectives of your research
After choosing your topic, state the objective of the paper. Before beginning the research, you need a statement that indicates the position you will support in the paper. The thesis statement will provide the controlling idea that will help you in picking the resource material. The objective should not be an opinion that cannot be proven or an indisputable fact as this would not be in line with scientific research method. The better the thesis/objective statement, the better the outline of you research paper will be.
Begin the research process
Then begin your research. Information on the chosen topic can be from several sources like journal articles, books, encyclopedia, interviews and many others either from the library or online. Vary your information sources by looking into at least five sources. The resources used for your research will also form your bibliography that you will use towards the end of your paper.
Create an outline of your paper
Step number four is to make an outline for the paper. Whether the paper is analytical or argumentative, research paper topics must relate to the major thesis. Knowing your audience helps you have a working outline that helps you organize your notes logically and ensuring that it flows. To achieve this, list all the topics that will be discussed in the paper then divide them into major topic and subtopics. Remember, an excellent research paper depends on its outline.
Go ahead with the writing process
The final step on how to write a research paper is to write the paper itself. The research paper has three primary parts which are introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction clearly states the objective of the paper. It further familiarizes the reader on what to expect by revealing the organization plan. Then write the body of the research paper which is where the arguments to support the thesis statements are. Develop your essay around main points you want to make and integrate your sources into your discussion. At this point, do not report but rather analyze, explain, evaluate and summarize your information. Finally, conclude your research paper by summarizing your findings and arguments in a convincing way.
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