Have you been staring at the blinking cursor for hours or postponing writing your research paper because you have no idea how to start? Research papers are time-consuming due to their complexity. And they determine your overall grades. While writing a research paper is difficult, you need to learn how to write it from an expert research paper writer to achieve your long-term goals. If you don’t know where to start, this article is ideal for you. We are going to share with you a few simple tips that will make this process easy. Let’s get started!
1. Choose a good topic
In some instances, your professor can assign a research paper with specific topics. However, if you have the option of choosing your topic, do it wisely. You should choose a topic that excites and challenges you. This will help you discover new things or concepts while conducting your research. Don’t choose topics that are too broad or technical because they’ll make your research process a nightmare. A broad topic will make your research project look like an overview. Narrowing it down to specific concepts or ideas will make the research process manageable.
2. Write your thesis statement
You need to come up with a thesis statement before you start organizing your research paper. A thesis statement will guide your research and help you concentrate on a particular subject. Your thesis statement should be concise and reflect what you want to cover. Research papers are grouped into three categories namely:
- Persuasive or argumentative
- Analytical: presents analysis
- Expository: explains the information
You need to devote your precious time to create a strong thesis statement for your paper to have a clear objective. Your thesis should be narrow and debatable since your claims will be supported by references. Looking up a few examples of great thesis statements will help you come up with yours easily.
3. Conduct extensive research
You need to use reputable primary and secondary sources while researching to find evidence to support your claims. At this point, you should take notes, evaluate and document your sources according to the style specified by your professor. Ensure that you use the latest edition of the specified style. You’ll use these notes later when writing your research paper. Don’t forget to cite your sources to avoid plagiarism.
4. Create a good outline
Your research paper has given you lots of amazing ideas. You need to organize them to have a great presentation. You shouldn’t skip this step because your research paper will lack focus and you’ll spend a lot of time revising and editing your draft for it to make sense. An outline serves as a guide or map that keeps you focused on your key objectives. Think of the points that you’ll need to support your topic and thesis statement. You can use them as headings and subheadings. You need to ensure that you include information that supports your thesis directly. You should resist the urge to include information that doesn’t fit into your paper regardless of how interesting it is. As you create your outline, you should focus on the structure of your project i.e. introduction, body, and conclusion.
5. Create your first draft
Now that you have a clear direction, you need to start writing your first draft. Your title is important because it helps in grabbing your readers’ attention. It helps them know what to expect in your research project. You should include keywords that present the topic, methods, and results that you got. As you include your keywords, you need to delete unnecessary information and ensure that the words follow a logical order. Afterward, you’ll need to write your introduction, body, and conclusion.
1. Writing your intro
The purpose of the introduction paragraph is to grab attention. You can use statistics, a provocative question, unusual facts, or an anecdote. Writing a research paper doesn’t mean that you should be boring. You need to provide additional info, explain your objectives and how you plan to work on your research paper. You should complete your intro with a research question or thesis statement. This is one of the shortest sections in a research paper.
2. Body paragraphs
Using your outline, you’ll easily complete this section. However, you shouldn’t follow it strictly. You are free to make changes to improve the quality of your research paper. The key to staying on track and achieving your goals is focusing on the thesis statement. Start every paragraph with a sentence related to the topic and provide evidence to support it.
3. Conclusion paragraph
Most research papers end by paraphrasing their thesis statements. The conclusion section is all about summarizing key points in your paper. You can focus on the significance of your findings too. A great idea is to provide recommendations based on your research results and directions for further research.
6. Proofread your paper
You’ll need to check the flow, logic and transitions, and the order and structure of your paragraphs. You should ensure that all your ideas are well developed and each claim is supported by reputable sources. You might need to add more section headings.
Once you are done with this, you should start editing. You have to eliminate phrases, filler words, correct punctuation and grammar, and improve word choice. You should look for spelling mistakes, incomplete sentences, contractions, and ensure that quotation rules are followed. You’ll be required to read your paper several times to get these mistakes. One of the best ways to do this is by reading your paper backward. This style might seem unusual but it will help you catch lots of mistakes.
7. Ask for feedback
Once you’ve corrected the mistakes that we’ve outlined in the previous point, you should ask your peers or family members to read your paper and share their honest opinion. They should look at your arguments, transitions and look for inconsistency with grammar and usage.
You should consult your professor or supervisor while writing your research paper to avoid costly mistakes. Don’t be afraid to seek help from specialists if you are having a hard time writing your paper. To get good grades, you have to excel in this area.