When that time for writing a research paper comes, some students end up with mixed reactions and feelings. Some of them fall into panic and anxiety over what they will be writing about. Others feel inadequate and wish that the assignment should be postponed because they don’t feel ready enough to face it successfully.
However, doing a research paper is not a special skill that a few geeks were born with. This article is going to demystify all that and offer you the help you need to crack the hard nut and write an A+ research paper that will advance you to the next level of excellence. If you are among the students I mentioned in the opening paragraph, then you need research paper help. This help comes in not just in the form of being “in the know,” but also in the form of the applied “know how.”
Choose your construction site: Topic
Just like in the world of construction, you don’t begin your house just on any site simply because you are a skilled builder. The reason is that you can end up building your house in another man’s land and be forced to pull it down. In such a case, you will not have constructed the wrong house but a good house on the wrong site—you will be offsite. Likewise, don’t waste your time, efforts, and energy writing something only for your professor to tell you that you are “offsite” and you need to pull down a “good and bright” essay because it is out of topic.
For a student, a research paper can either come with a predetermined topic or your lecturer may allow you to choose your own topic. When you are allowed to select your topic, you need to choose a topic based on the following parameters:
- It must be interesting enough to motivate you to write
- It must also be challenging enough to make you up your game and learn new things as you research. Don’t choose a topic that you can write off head since it may give you good marks but retard your growth
- It must not be too wide to become an “octopus” so that it can’t fit within your given word count. For example, don’t just get a wide area such as malaria while you are supposed to write a 3000-word paper. A topic like malaria requires a whole encyclopedia to exhaust hence you can narrow it to something like: How to prevent malaria among African children
- Lastly, it must not be too narrow so that you find it difficult researching and getting enough material to meet your desired word count adequately
Gather your raw materials: Identify research material sources
In your quest to master how to write a paper, you should think like a contractor. Before you move and start working on your site, you need to gather all the necessary raw materials. Likewise, you should sit and know what kind and quantity of material you need to construct that magnificent edifice called an excellent research paper.
You have to identify the sources of the materials you need to write and find out if you can access all of them on time. For instance, if the bulk of that information is in a rare hard copy book, how will you access it? You can find raw material from books, magazines, newspaper features and articles, the Internet, and libraries. Whatever the sources, just ensure that they will give you the information you need and that you can access them—access is key.
Additionally, you have to look at the quality and expert authority of that information. This point has more to do with Internet sources. I don’t mean that the Net is unreliable, but just ensure that whosoever is behind that information is an authority in that field. Also, when you find some relevant information online, download and store it immediately because you may delay and next time you visit the site, the information is deleted and replaced or the site is down for maintenance. Such inconveniences can bring you back to point zero.
So where are you going from here? Craft your thesis
After gathering your information to write a research paper, you need to write your thesis. Your thesis will now show you where to proceed with the data and facts you have accumulated. It will be your strategic roadmap that gives your paper a personal distinction from any other research paper in your class. You need to ensure that your thesis is brief but yet clear enough to show your readers which direction you are going to take. That way, they will know what you are standing for, and hence the kind of arguments you are going to have in the successive paragraphs and sections.
Draft a provisional outline
Another secret key on how to write a good research paper is coming up with a provisional outline. Your transition research project outline will be a placeholder before you fix the ideas you have gathered in the individual sections of the of your research paper.
With such an outline for research paper in place, you will know how to figure out where and how you will organize your raw material so that you can write an exceptional paper. This way, you will not forget any critical information you needed to include in the paper to support your thesis.
The structure of the paper
Another pillar on how to do a research paper is the structure you will use to hold your ideas in place as they flow from the beginning to the end. Just like all other types of papers in college, you need to follow a given structure so as to bring a logical flow of ideas and arguments. The structure of your paper will look something like this:
- The introduction
The introduction is the opening part of your research paper, and you need to approach it with caution. The reason here is that if you don’t make efforts to make it interesting and sensible to your readers, they will switch you off waiting to arrive at the last full stop and give you a low grade. This introductory section needs to tell your reader what you are going to cover in the remaining sections of the paper.
Additionally, you have to convince your readers that the paper is valuable enough to warrant their time and efforts to read it to the end. Lastly, you have to include your thesis here so that the readers can know what you are standing for regarding the topic you have chosen.
- The body
Your paper’s body is where you need to “spill all the beans.” This section will break the curiosity and fulfill the desire you had ignited in your readers’ mind through the promises you made in the introduction. Here, all their questions will get answers.
Additionally, present your arguments to support your thesis in an orderly manner. You ought to follow the “start strong and finish stronger” principle where you give your best at last. In this arrangement, you will close this section with your best argument.
- Concluding section
To organize a research paper well, you’ve got to include a compelling conclusion as an enhancement to your research paper layout. A good conclusion is not just another appendage that allows you to sign out of a tiring writing process, no. It’s your finishing line, and you need to draft it with the same care as the body or intro. Your concluding paragraph or paragraphs need to contain the following components:
- Give your reader the reasons for your deductions
- Echo the essence of your thesis and show your readers how you have defended it
- A summary of the main arguments and ideas used to defend your thesis
- An answer to the “So what?” question so that the readers can understand why and how this paper is beneficial to them and what you want them to do
Now, build your house: Write your initial draft
One of the research paper tips that will help you to draft your paper excellently is following all the research papers guidelines for writing. After you are done with your planning, you have to do the real thing now—write. In this process, you need to pay attention to all the rules of writing and also drafting research papers. Some of the cardinal rules you need to adhere to are:
- Avoid plagiarism: Nothing will destroy your efforts more than falling for this “quick fix”
- Use simple language: Write to inform and not impress. Avoid unnecessary jargon
- Follow all guidelines: Don’t invent your new rules
- Avoid vulgar and slang: Remain decent and formal
- Be clear and yet brief: Use just enough words to pass on your message
Fine tune your work: Reviewing
Before you sign out and type your work, polish it through reviewing. Your objectives for reviewing should be to:
- Establish consistency of all ideas with your thesis and topic
- Fix all grammar errors
- Include all vital information you may have left out
- Delete all unnecessary details
- Infuse logic and flow in your ideas
- Detect and remove plagiarism
Writing an excellent research paper can be a daunting task if you are unprepared. But this article has furnished you with applied knowledge and know-how so that you can always live ready for such assignments. But what happens if you find yourself inconvenienced by the many disruptions of modern life? You can always call for help from Custom Writing Bee Experts. We are a team of seasoned experts who offer students timely and affordable assistance with all research paper assignments. Contact us next time you need help.