Are you fretting over the challenge of writing a research paper as part of your academic assignment or otherwise? Research papers can be complex and time-consuming assignments. Considering the role of research activities in academic colleges, this make-up a large part of a student’s grades in all classes. It is not a secret that academic writing is hard but written communication skills are essential for your success in college, graduate school, and in your future career. That is why you should work hard to master the art of paper writing. Though it cannot happen overnight, here are six easy steps that will make your seemingly daunting task easier.
First, think about choosing a challenging topic you are interested in. This will prevent the possibility of quitting halfway through. Don’t select too-technical/general subjects. Also, if your topic is too broad, your research paper is unlikely to be successful because it will look like a general overview. You should narrow down your topic to a certain concept or idea. For example, if you are writing about why a large number of people are taking up Baking as a favourite pastime during Covid-19 induced Lockdown, then it could be due to the fact that sugar, an important ingredient in the Baking process, actually uplifts your mood and provide you the much-needed emotional succour during these stressful times.
Prepare a working thesis before you organise your research because it will then guide your investigation in a structured way. Keep your thesis statement concise; it should depict the type of paper you are writing. Thus, you must devote enough of your time in creating a good strong thesis statement so that your project has a clear purpose. Your thesis should also be debatable and narrow because your claims must be supported by evidence.
You should find enough secondary and primary credible sources for your paper. Next, read these carefully, and find relevant evidence to support your thesis. At this stage, you should evaluate your sources, take notes, and start documenting your sources according to a citation style specified by your instructor (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, etc.). The best place to find data to support your argument is the Worldwide Web and various other digital platforms.
Now you must organise your great ideas for your impressive presentation. It is important to not skip this step because without it, your project will lack focus and you will need more time for revising your draft trying to make sense of your jumbled thoughts. Thus, this step (of developing an outline) is vital. Eventually, this working outline will act as a roadmap and help you stay focused. Think about the key points that you will need to develop to support your thesis statement. Crafting your outline with these characteristics will help you write more clearly.
The title is especially important if you want to make a good impression on your readers because it’s the first thing that they see. It gives them an idea about what exactly they should expect in your paper. You should include the keywords that present the topic of your paper, the methods you used, and the results that you achieved. Finally, you must delete non-essential info and organise the remaining words in a logical order. You can also include the subtitle. Make sure that your title is concise.
The main parts of your paper must be structured in the following manner:
The introductory paragraph should begin with:
★ A provocative question
★ An anecdote
★ Unusual facts, etc.
This section of your paper is not long so you are sure to finish it fast.
Start each body paragraph by introducing the topic and then state the key points.
Most research papers end with restarting their thesis statements. Paraphrase it or summarise the key points of your paper. You may emphasise the significance of your findings as well.
Make revisions and edit in terms of content, structure, tone and grammar. In the end, please proofread the document well.
Re-read your paper several times. It is also always a good idea to ask your mentor to go through your research paper as a third person with a discerning perspective can weed out the flaws in your argument put forward in the paper, which you might have overlooked, as it is your work.
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