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How to Start a Research Paper

The Five Commandments of Writing Research Papers

❶This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline. This Chapter outlines the logical steps to writing a good research paper.

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Teaching Yourself
Research Paper Examples and Samples
Good Research Paper . Writing Guide

When writing a research paper most students decide to use all the possible means to simplify the assignment and save some time and nerves. That is why they download a research paper outline template or a sample to follow the structure and tailor their own works according to a proper style.

Such examples may greatly contribute to the result and help the student to provide a proper assignment without any additional investments of time and money. However, you need to make sure that you download a sample only at a reputable website, which checks every paper properly. It is impossible to write a such a task without creating drafts and outlines. That is why you need to pay careful attention to the research paper outline, as it will greatly simplify your future work and make the process of creating an assignment much simpler.

However, there are a few common rules and a regular structure of a research paper has the following pattern: If you want your paper to contain all the necessary information, have a clear structure and grab attention of the audience, you will need to follow a clear structure and provide all the necessary details to make sure your paper will be taken seriously. A proper structure consists of such elements, as:. Whenever possible, choose a topic that you feel passionate about.

Writing about something you enjoy certainly shows in the final product, making it more likely that you will be successful writing a paper about something you enjoy. If you are writing a research paper for a class, consider the other students. Is it likely that they will also be writing about your topic? How can you keep your paper unique and interesting if everyone is writing about the same thing? Asking a professor for help may seem frightening, but if they are worth anything as a professor, they want you to be successful with your work, and will do what they can to make that happen.

Although it requires a bit more time, you have the ability to change your topic even after you begin researching others. With a topic selected, the next step is to begin research. Research comes in numerous forms including web pages, journal articles, books, encyclopedias, interviews, and blog posts, among others.

Take time to look for professional resources who offer valid research and insight into your topic. Try to use a minimum of five sources to vary your information; never rely on only sources.

Look for empirical research. Whenever possible, look for peer-reviewed empirical research. These are articles or books written by experts in your field of interest, whose work has been read and vouched for by other experts in the same field.

These can be found in scientific journals or via an online search. Take a trip to your local library or university library. Although it may seem old fashioned, libraries are chock full of helpful research materials from books to newspapers and magazines to journals. Typically, websites that end with.

That is because these websites belong to schools, the government, or organizations dealing with your topic. Try changing your search query often to find different search results for your topic.

There are special search engines and academic databases available that search through thousands of peer-reviewed or scientifically published journals, magazines, and books. Look for databases that cover your subject only. For example, PsycINFO is an academic database that holds nothing but works done by authors in the field of psychology and sociology. This will help you to get more tailored results than a very general search would.

Take advantage of this ability to ask for specific information by using as many of the query boxes as you can. Visit your school library and ask the librarian for a full list of the academic databases they subscribe to, as well as the passwords for each.

Get creative with your research. This should contain many more books and journals that are about your topic as well. This step is very important: Make marks on anything that you think might be remotely important or that could be put to use in your paper.

As you mark off important pieces in the research, add your own commentary and notes explaining to yourself where you might use it in your paper. Writing down your ideas as you have them will make writing your paper much easier and give you something to refer back to. Annotating your research can take quite a bit of time, but needs to be taken one step further in order to add a bit more clarity for the outlining process. Organize your notes by collecting all of your highlighted phrases and ideas into categories based on topic.

For example, if you are writing a paper analyzing a famous work of literature, you could organize your research into a list of notes on the characters, a list of references to certain points in the plot, a list of symbols the author presents, et cetera.

Try writing each quote or item that you marked onto an individual note card. That way, you can rearrange and lay out your cards however you would like. Color code your notes to make it easier. Write down a list of all the notes you are using from each individual resource, and then highlight each category of information in a different color.

For example, write everything from a particular book or journal on a single sheet of paper in order to consolidate the notes, and then everything that is related to characters highlight in green, everything related to the plot mark in orange, et cetera. As you go through your notes, mark down the author, page number, title, and publishing information for each resource. This will come in handy when you craft your bibliography or works cited page later in the game. Identify the goal of the paper.

Generally, speaking, there are two types of research paper: Each requires a slightly different focus and writing style which should be identified prior to starting a rough draft. An argumentative research paper takes a position on a contentious issue and argues for one point of view. The issue should be debatable with a logical counter argument. An analytic research paper offers a fresh look at an important issue.

The subject may not be controversial, but you must attempt to persuade your audience that your ideas have merit. This is not simply a regurgitation of ideas from your research, but an offering of your own unique ideas based on what you have learned through research.

Who would be reading this paper, should it be published? Although you want to write for your professor or other superior, it is important that the tone and focus of your paper reflect the audience who will be reading it.

The thesis statement is a sentence statement at the beginning of your paper that states the main goal or argument of your paper. Although you can alter the wording of your thesis statement for the final draft later, coming up with the main goal of your essay must be done in the beginning.

All of your body paragraphs and information will revolve around your thesis, so make sure that you are clear on what your thesis is. What is the primary question or hypothesis that you are going to go about proving in your paper?

Your thesis should express the main idea of your paper without listing all of your reasons or outline your entire paper. Determine your main points. The body of your essay will revolve around the ideas that you judge to be most important. Go through your research and annotations to determine what points are the most pivotal in your argument or presentation of information. What ideas can you write whole paragraphs about?

Which ideas to you have plenty of firm facts and research to back with evidence? For the previous example, we could ask the question, "Who? Thus, when choosing a research topic, students must be careful that it fulfills the requirements of the paper.

The heart of any research paper is the thesis statement. You will here this time and time again. It is important for a reason. A thesis statement lets the reader know a your position on a particular issue or b what exactly you are trying to prove or substantiate.

Your paper should be organized around your thesis statement. Each paragraph should move towards supporting your thesis statement. Think of it this way: If you think slowly and carefully about the direction of your paper, it is not even necessary to write an outline.

Just keep asking yourself "How does this support my thesis statement? The supporting paragraphs should all work to support the thesis statement. A tip to keep in mind is that the supporting statements will focus on a particular aspect of the thesis statement. Supporting statements can a clarify your position on an issue b provide key definitions related to the topic and c discuss the "how" and "why" aspects of the thesis statement and d discuss patterns or inconsistencies in development.

Just remember, your supporting statements are important because they develop your thesis further and explain your position or perspective on a particular subject or issue.

So, you've finally made it to the end of the paper. Now, all you have to tackle is the conclusion of your essay. A good way to remember the purpose of the conclusion is to think of it as a "wrap-up. This is definitely not the time to add a new point or aspect of a subject.

Don't mess up your conclusion by leading your reader astray. You may also want to briefly recap some of the major supporting statements. If you really want to impress your teacher, you may even want to discuss implications for further research.

Or, in other words, state how your research can either be further developed or how it ties in to related areas of study.

Now that you have gotten the basics of writing a good research paper down, here are some added tips to ensure that you get the grade that you deserve. Remember to always proofread your term paper or essay. One cannot stress enough the importance of doing a spelling and grammar check.

Another tip, a skill that comes with practice, is to become familiar with the tone of each source that you read. An argument can be made more powerful if the student is acutely aware of the argument that the author is trying to make. Finally, the motivated student should make time to visit their professor's or T.

Spelling and grammatical errors have no place in a research paper. Many professors are quite strict about them and will find fault with your paper if it is littered with typos. Many word processors have a spelling and grammar checker.


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How to Write a Research Paper. What is a research paper? A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular 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.

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Writing a Research Paper. This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper. Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide.

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These short notes give guidance about writing the abstract of your paper. Norman Ramsey’s notes about his class on Technical Writing. Mathematical Writing, by Donald E. Knuth et al. The first three sections constitute a minicourse on technical writing: only eight pages long. The time to read it will repay itself many times over. How to Write Mathematics, by PR Halmos. As with writing a regular academic paper, research proposals are generally organized the same way throughout most social science disciplines. Proposals vary between ten and twenty-five pages in length. ask your professor whether there are any specific requirements for organizing and writing the proposal. A good place to begin is to ask.

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A good research paper is basically a sustained inquiry about a particular subject. Not only is the student answering a question, but he/she must also ensure that the statements one is making are valid. Sometimes your professor will ask you to include an abstract, or general summary of your work, with your research paper. How to Write a Research Abstract. Office of Undergraduate Research. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work.