“Research paper” is not a strange term to college and university students. Lecturers demand research papers from time to time. All students in a class will present the research paper, but few do it correctly. A research paper should interpret, and critically analyze and evaluate your argument. Pay attention to “your argument,” because this is where many students go wrong. The information you gather from books and the internet should be used to support “your argument.” Therefore, before you start writing a college research paper, you should have an argument or perspective of the given topic. The following is a guide to writing a research paper.
What are the components of a research paper?
The exact format of a research paper may vary with the academic field and university affiliation. However, there are parts that any research paper will not lack. Any research paper will have a title, which should indicate the problem your research is solving. The next part is abstract. An abstract is a short overview of the research paper. The abstract is followed by an introduction. After introducing your topic, the next paragraphs should identify the problem. Then provide your analysis of the problem before providing the solutions. A research paper should always have a conclusion, and you should always list your references on the last page.
How to write a research paper
Now you know what a research paper is and its structure. So, how do you begin writing a college research paper? Unfortunately, there are neither templates nor shortcuts in research paper writing. It is a process that requires organization, experience, patience and practice.
The first step of writing a research paper is research. You have to do extensive research on the topic given to form an argument. After the research, you have to outline your research paper. Outlining involves determining the headings and subheadings. After outlining you can start writing. Here, keep in mind the purpose of the research paper.
After writing, revise, edit and proofread. These steps may involve changing some words statements and even whole paragraphs. The tone and voice of your research paper should be consistent. Also, this is where you check the flow of ideas, headings, and paragraphs. As you proofread, correct typing errors and check for plagiarism.
Carefully pick your thesis and sources
All the grammar and diction in the world will not make a good research paper if you have a shallow argument. Lecturers assign research papers to encourage “out-of-the-box” thinking and exploration of topics. Therefore, be creative and critically analyze the topicgiven to come up with a good thesis. Sources assure credibility of your argument. Pick weaksources, and your lecturer will disqualify your thesis.
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