A research paper is an academic assignment. It requires a student to gather information about a topic, directly answer a research question, and support the answer with evidence in a predefined format.
It can be assigned a term paper, a doctoral dissertation or a master’s thesis. However, to write an excellent research paper, you need to learn the steps of writing it. The paper is not easy and requires not only skills but also a positive attitude.
All research papers follow the following basic format:
Lengthy research papers often follow a more extensive format, as follows:
Note that the above structure useful only for lengthy research papers. Short research papers may include only three sections: an introduction, body section, and a conclusion. Always follow your instructor’s guidelines.
The introduction of a research paper tells readers what to expect. It includes a compelling opening to draw in the reader, a summary of the ideas that the paper presents, and a thesis statement that puts forward the main point of the paper. The body is where you flesh out your ideas using concrete evidence, and the conclusion wraps up the research paper.
College students must be ready to a research paper at one point. Whether they get ready for it or not, this paper will be assigned to them at some point. It is a challenging task that even talented students need to know the basics before they can get started. If you do plan for the paper thoroughly, it will be you beginning to score a bad grade. Avoid messing up by getting to know what it takes to write an excellent research paper. Here are a few tips to help you know how to start a research paper:
Introduce the topic to your reader with an intriguing opener and give them a background on the paper. Tell the reader how you did your research and the rationale behind it. Show the importance of your research. Finally, state your hypothesis.
Almost every research paper assigned to students requires a thesis statement. You should confirm from your lecturer before you add one. You add a thesis in the introduction part and it becomes the central idea where your paper will revolve around. In other words, this single sentence statement acts as your personal declaration. In the essay, you must have great arguments to defend and support the belief while citing academically acceptable information sources.
Avoid writing anything fuzzy or common as your thesis. A unique essay should always have something interesting and new to readers to capture their attention and offer them educative information.
In your thesis, no citation is required. Just put down your thoughts without copying what other writers have written. And then support it with in-depth research throughout your essay. Here are some of the things that a thesis should always do:
Your thesis should be clear but strong. If time allows, ask your teacher to give his or her remarks regarding it. Otherwise, it must be impressive.
Also, ask yourself the following questions:
The thesis of a research paper shapes the ideas throughout the essay. It makes your paper high quality and elevates its credibility by impressing the reader, who is mostly your teacher.
Your research will generate several ideas, which you need to present them in a well-organized format. A good outline keeps your research paper focused and ensures you don’t have to do multiple revisions down the line. It’s best to create the outline after you finalize the thesis for the research paper. The framework serves as the roadmap for the entire essay.
Start by coming up with the main points to support your thesis statement. These points can be the subheadings in the body of the research paper. Prepare notes that you will use to flesh out your points into paragraphs under each subheading. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that puts forward a single idea. Follow it with supporting sentences that explain the topic sentence and cite credible academic sources. Your paragraphs should include only information that fits into your research paper outline. In short, this is how your outline should look like:
Introduce your subject matter and main ideas in the opening paragraph. Give the reader some background on the research topic. Conclude your introduction with your thesis statement, which presents the main point for which the research paper makes a case.
Present the evidence for your thesis in the body of your research paper. The type of evidence provided varies depending on the kind of research paper you’re writing. For example, argumentative essays require research, whereas personal essays can rely on the personal experiences of the author.
The order of points in the body of the research paper should be logical. For instance, the chronological order works well with historical essays. For argumentative essays, you can make them emphatic by presenting the least important points first and building up to the essential ones.
Don’t shy away from making bold statements in your paper, provided you back them up with solid research. Make use of citation tools such as EasyBib and Citation Machine to cite your sources properly. Use reliable plagiarism checkers to identify missing or incomplete citations. Your instructor will definitely be checking for plagiarism.
Finally, wrap up your ideas in conclusion by clearly restating your thesis in different words. A reasonable conclusion leaves the reader with a useful takeaway or something to ponder on.
A research paper example should be perfect and contain errors. You follow the steps above to create one and at the end, ensure you check for any possible errors. Reorganize the essay if you have to, but do alter the content related to the purpose of the research paper. Here is what you need to check:
Reread the research paper. Make sure your spellings are correct and improve the quality of your research paper. You can even ask someone to proofread or hire a writing service online to do it for you. When reading the essay, try to answer the following questions:
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