A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a topic; and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings. It can be either a term paper, a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation. They may also contain arguments based on a thesis with vital evidence from various helpful and reliable sources.
Though writing a research paper may seem painstaking and difficult at first, it really isn’t all too complicated once you know what proper steps you can follow to make it easier. It may be challenging because of the intensive research that it needs, but it doesn’t have to be frustrating for anyone. Before starting the steps, be sure you have enough note paper, various colours of highlighters (for your research markings) and index cards. Also take note, that reading the checklist regarding research ethics could also be of big help for you and writing your research paper.
Start off by following these essential steps:
- Select a topic that inspires you
- Find reliable sources (books, journals, newspapers) always check who the author is.
- Organise your notes (use highlighters to help you)
- Brainstorm a substantial outline
- Write a first draft
- Read through first draft and re-write
Here is a checklist for you to use to make sure your research paper is the best it can be:
- Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence?
- Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples?
- Any run-on or unfinished sentences?
- Any unnecessary or repetitious words?
- Varying lengths of sentences?
- Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next?
- Any spelling or grammatical errors?
- Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation?
- Are all my citations accurate and in correct format?
- Did I avoid using contractions? Use “cannot” instead of “can’t”, “do not” instead of “don’t”?
- Did I use third person as much as possible? Avoid using phrases such as “I think”, “I guess”, “I suppose”
- Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective?
- Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader(s) at the end of the paper?
When it gets to overwhelming, you can also ask for help to professionals online, there are cheap writer services that specialise in providing research paper help. Check what you need, visit several websites offering custom services and potentially pay for the best support. Remember, this is an important part of your education, so do your best at all times!