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Helpful tips on writing a research paper

Helpful tips on writing a research paperWhen students are faced with writing a research paper, they are usually overwhelmed because it definitely seems like a monumental project that involves a lot of work. However, writing a research paper doesn’t have to be difficult if the students are aware of the straightforward process that they need to follow by steps. The main factor of consideration is the word research itself. This type of project means that a meticulous investigation needs to be involved.  

There is no success without organization

Writing a research paper means that you have to organize your resources, your time and the way you think and write. The process starts with choosing a topic for your thesis, and continues with finding sources. After you locate relevant and authoritative sources, you can continue the process by taking lots of notes and arranging them by topic. These notes will help you to develop an effective outline and start writing the first, draft version of your project. Submitting a draft version is the worst thing you could do with a serious research project, which means that you will need to revise it and re-write the necessary parts, after which the entire work should be proofread. The rest of this article will provide you with detailed guidelines about all these steps of the research writing project.

1. An effective research – the first step towards successful writing

Writing a research paper is a pretty straight forward process and everything will flow easily if you satisfy the first condition: focus yourself on an effective research. Go to the library, place yourself comfortably on a spacious table and start sorting through all potential sources you find. You may need to dedicate more than one day for this phase of the process, but no one said that you could write a research paper within a day.

2. Choose the topic for your research paper

If your mentor allowed you to choose your own topic, then you must find something that will awaken your interest and fascination. Once you find a specific area of interest, think of at least three defined questions related to that topic. The final topic of your research paper must not be too general, so make sure to think of very specific questions. One of those questions can be turned into a thesis statement for your project, but remember that the thesis has to be a statement in a confirmative tone; it should not be a question.

3. Find relevant sources

Now that you have your thesis, you must find relevant sources that will provide enough material for your research paper. Locate books in the library, but don’t exclude reputable sources from newspapers, magazines and journals. The periodical guide in the library can provide a lot of help at this point. Find your favorite table in the library and start scanning though all sources you located. Reading just the titles is not enough because they can often be misleading, so you will have to do a quick read in order to locate the relevant information.

4. Start taking notes

Many students avoid the step of taking notes and they go directly on the process of writing their paper. However, taking notes can help you define several sub-topics by inspiring new ideas. Organize your notes by using color coding, and make sure to write down the bibliographical information of your notes, because you will need it for referencing. This is an absolutely necessary action!

5. Arranging the notes

We didn’t recommend color-coding your notes to make them look pretty; we recommended that because it will enable you to sort them out easily and arrange them by relevance. This is the most effective way of creating relevant paragraphs that will maintain the logical flow of your thought throughout the entire research paper.

6. Create an outline

Although you surely want to finish the research paper as soon as possible and start the writing process right away, it is necessary to write an outline first. If you follow a specific outline, you will be able to preserve the right shape of your paper and develop your logical arguments without going out of focus.

7. Now is the time for the first draft

Now that you have your detailed outline ready, you finally have our permission to start writing the first draft of your research paper. The introductory paragraph is very important for captivating your reader’s attention, so make sure to use it wisely for the development of a strong and unique thesis statement. If you find that you are missing materials for proving some points of your thesis, it can never be late for some additional research to be done.

The first attempt of writing can be disappointing, but that’s why we call it a draft version. Read over it and correct all parts you are unsatisfied with. Omit information that doesn’t belong there, add paragraphs to fill in the gaps in your writing and re-arrange the paragraphs in order to achieve an efficient flow of your arguments. Stop with the editing process only when you feel happy with the final product. Here is where your note cards come to another use: create the bibliography and include the information you have written on them.

8. Finally: Proofread the research paper

The final step of the research paper writing process is proofreading. Make sure that your writing is completely clean of typographical, spelling and grammatical errors. Check if you have mentioned every single one of your sources in your bibliography, and add more of them if necessary.

At last, check your mentor’s instructions and make sure that you have satisfied all recommendations and requirements. When you are sure that your paper is the best work you could have done on that topic, you can submit it and expect a high grade on it. 

Sandra miller is a freelance writer, lives in New York. Two times a year watches friends sitcom, loves salsa. Uses editing service [1] (https://help.plagtracker.com/) to write great material. Her passion is Latin American culture.

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