The idea of writing a research paper evokes instant anxiety in nearly all academic fields. Any student has to – at one point in their school life – conduct a research and write a report on the same, regardless of their career path. However, most students lack the basics of conducting and writing a simple and elaborate research paper that will guarantee success of their careers. Moreover, research papers also demands a high level of professionalism as well as a simple but impeccable grammar that often frightens most students. However, as this article shall showcase, constant practice makes any student become a professional in writing research papers.
Difference between a Research Paper and a Research Proposal
It should be noted that quite a number of students have a problem differentiating between a research proposal and a research paper. Despite them being two different worlds of ideology, they are typically written with the same style. A research proposal – majorly known as a prospectus – is a persuasive kind of writing that aids in convincing an audience about the value of a research project (find examples here). On the other hand, a research paper intends to demonstrate a student’s knowledge and prowess in a certain academic field.
How To Write a Research Paper Step by Step
In order to write a well organized and an exemplary research paper, it is important to follow the steps bellow:
Settle on a topic
Collect relevant information/do a research
Develop a working thesis statement
Make a good research paper outline
Organize your research information
Create your first draft
Revise your draft
Write the final research paper
Settle on a topic
In most cases, students are assigned a certain research topic, but in a situation where a student is adorned with the opportunity to choose one, it is prudent to choose wisely. Usually, the student’s attitude towards a topic is often the reason ascribed to poor and mediocre results. Therefore, choose a topic that interests you and challenges your skills. Narrow down to a researchable topic and always get in touch with your tutor for topic approval, before embarking fully to research. More importantly, avoid topics with a narrow range of source materials, either online or in your local library.
Collect Relevant Information/Do Research
This is a vital stage in familiarizing and edifying oneself with the prospects of the research topic. Therefore, you should find enough primary and secondary sources on the subject while looking for relevant sources online. For a beginner, it is eminent to look out for useful URLs online so as to narrow on the relevant and useful information. Use search engines such as google to help you navigate through the web. Since the quality of the websites provided by the search engines vary, you can critically evaluate a website in order to eliminate wasteful sites and save on time.
Develop a Working Thesis
Before organizing your sources and start writing, you should develop a working thesis which will guide the paper and help you stay focused on the subject of your paper. Basically, a thesis is a statement put forward to be proven or argued for effectively in an essay. A good thesis statement must take a stand and be specific. An example of a working thesis include;
‘Drug and substance abuse amongst the youth is one of the most pressing challenges facing the world today.’
Make a Good Research Outline
This is a very important and vital aspect in research writing, without which the paper will lack focus and aptitude. The paper’s research outline helps you to focus topic wise and ensure that every detail captured in the research was intended for. Generally, a research paper outline includes;
A title page
The Manuscript body
Findings and Results
Tables and Figures
Organize Your Research Information
Once the outline is in place, organizing the research according to the outline is an easy part. Critically analyze your research data and evaluate your sources. Use peer-reviewed articles and verify that the information from the sources are factual and contemporary. You can get sources from various sites including google scholar, books and periodicals, Newspapers, publications, and even online encyclopedias and databases. Analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information on each source and compile them in accordance with the points you have. Thereafter, start writing your first draft.
Create Your First Draft
After organizing your research topic wise, start with the first topic and read relevant notes in regard to the same. Summarize or paraphrase all the ideas from your sources and cite according, while integrating with your own arguments.
Revise Your Draft
At this point, the paper is almost done. Read through your paper for grammatical and content errors while double checking the facts written. You can use grammar checkers such as grammarly to check the impeccability of your grammar.
Write the Final Research Paper
This far you’ve reached, you can have a sigh of relief because the paper is as good as finished. Most formal research paper require you to type your final paper and print it. However, you are advised to follow your institution’s and tutor’s instruction regarding the same. Have a full knowledge on how your essay will be evaluated by comparing your notes with the rubric provided by the institution. Proofread your paper for punctuation errors, missing words, spelling mistakes, and duplicated words. And there you are, good luck with your paper. If you need any assistance, head here our expert essay writers are on standby mode to help you with top-notch writing services and ensure you have the best!