Looking forward to writing a research paper? It is not a sarcastic question since compared to many other papers, a research one may really involve you in the process. The majority of students find it hard to approach, however, when they are half the way prior to submitting the paper, they experience relief.
At the same time, let’s also mention those who choose to order professional writing services, CustomWritings, for example. It is quite common, and they do it because of tough deadlines or challenging topics. If you are one of the heroes who want to cope with a research paper on your own, read this guide covering 10 steps of such writing.
What is a Research Paper?
A research paper is an almost ordinary essay where a student should address their arguments to reveal the topic. Based on its name, the topic should be researched throughout by adding the actual research, facts, evidence, and many sources to refer to. Beyond that, this paper involves the process of critical thinking which a professor expects to see from a student. Thus, there is not much pool for imagination, and creativity but facts, and arguments to prove one or another point.
10 Steps to Master a Research Paper
There are 10 common steps involved in the whole process of studying which you may see below.
#1. Selecting the Field
Let’s imagine that you have to write about American History. It is a wide field that can be researched to the extreme. Upon selecting the field for a future paper, ensure you have enough time to think about it. During this step, you should familiarize yourself with deadlines, requirements, and the number of sources necessary to find.
If your field is American History, ensure you will possess much information, and sources to work with further on. Visit your college library or rely on the Web. Can you gather at least 5 sources? If yes, it is great since you won’t experience hurdles with arguments.
#2. Narrowing your Field
Narrowing stands for choosing the actual topic you will write about. It may be the Vietnam War or American participation in World War 2, etc. During this stage, you may help yourself with questions. They will better narrow the future research paper topic. For instance,
- What are the key dates to write about?
- What are the key people involved?
- What are the events, outcomes, issues to write about the best?
- Can I provide my opinion regarding the topic?
- Will my research paper reveal interesting information?
The questions may vary. The main idea is to ensure your research paper will be non-trite and bring any value to the audience.
#3. Proceeding with Thesis
You have to build an approximate thesis that will reflect your viewpoint and which you will refer to during the whole process of writing. A thesis should be proven. No need to take objectives where you cannot find any sources or information to confirm.
- Don’t make it in the form of a question;
- Don’t add – I think;
- Don’t use vague and slang words;
- Avoid figurative expressions.
#4. Developing Primary Bibliography
You have to make a draft of approximate sources where you will take information from. 5 sources are enough for the beginning. If you manage to collect more, it is even greater. After gathering materials for your bibliography, ensure they are all reliable, and trustworthy. Try to avoid Wikipedia.
#5. Going for Outline
An outline gives you visibility of the order. You structure your content, arguments, and evidence. The same as with other papers, it involves an introduction, main body with 2-5 paragraphs, and conclusion.
#6. Proceeding with Notes
After you gathered the materials for your bibliography, you may start researching them for notes. You take one book or article and write down key points and arguments which you plan to agree or disagree with. Ensure that each note contains the name of the material and the page from where you take an argument. After that, all such borrowings should be cited.
#7. Outlining the Structure
Now, you may start finalizing your first draft. You take all your notes and divide them into paragraphs where they will be written about. Remember, each paragraph should be dedicated to one key point. A reader should not lose a flow or get misunderstanding what you try to speak about. After structuring all the materials, overlook whether they are all logical, and lead from one to another one – like developing the plot.
#8. Writing a Rough Variant
A rough variant of your research paper is what you have to evaluate prior to making a final variant. It is deprived of mistakes, properly structured, and good-looking in general. Each section develops the following one. The introduction is followed by the main body, and the main body is followed by a conclusion.
Your conclusion answers the thesis and brings a reader to a logical end. NO new information should be added!
#9. Editing a Research Paper
Here comes the best friend of each student – Grammarly. It helps to identify grammar and spelling mistakes, as well as find sentences that are hard to read. Alongside editing, you should re-read your research paper several times until you will be fully satisfied with the content and your actual research.
#10. Writing a Final Variant
Finally, you are on the last stage. A final variant should be submitted to a professor. The same tips apply here, however, they are the final ones. Re-read your paper. You may also ask your friends or relatives for additional evaluation of your work. Yet, ensure it will be sincere.
Follow all these steps, and you won’t find yourself stuck not only with a research paper but also with other academic assignments. Such a long structure until submission of a paper brings only A grades.