Are you staring at a blank sheet of paper for hours? Not sure how to write an academic research paper? Well, it's not just you, but a vast majority of undergrads are nervous about writing research papers for college coursework.
Academic writing is incredibly challenging and different from the essays you wrote in high school.
If this is your first time writing an academic research paper, you're in luck. This post goes over the basics of research paper writing and shares smart strategies to write a killer research paper and improve your grades.
First things first,
What Is A Research Paper?
As the name implies, a research paper is an academic essay that requires original research work. The topic for the research paper is based on original analysis, interpretation, or arguments. Popular examples of academic research papers include doctoral dissertations, term papers, and scientific research articles. Generally, students pursuing Ph.D., academicians, and graduate students must write research papers as part of their coursework.
9 Steps To Write A Compelling Research Paper
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you write a research paper for college:
- Understand The Assignment
Review the assignment carefully and understand the prompt. Pay attention to the required structure. Check if you should include an abstract or cover page, etc. Also, look for other requirements like formatting style, length, and citation.
- Choose Your Topic
Your top priority when choosing a research topic is whether you'll be able to find enough content and research material to support it. If your professor has left the topic open-ended, you can choose any topic that interests you. Look for subjects with enough complexity and data to provide a rich discussion. Ideally, a good research topic should satisfy your curiosity and provide you with a suitable amount of content for extensive research.
- Gather Preliminary Research Material
Once you have picked a topic, you can start researching it. The early stage of research aims to provide you with more clarity on the subject and identify suitable research material. You can gather research materials online or at your university library. While searching online, make sure that you use credible sources like academic papers and scientific journals.
- Write A Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a high-level statement that summarizes what the research paper is all about. It's usually the first part of the research paper and introduces the topic to the reader. You can read the thesis statements of other research papers to get an idea of how to frame this section.
- Collect Supporting Evidence
Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and do the actual research. Go through all the resources you have bookmarked earlier and jot down the specific information that you would like to use in the paper.
- Write The Outline
Research papers require an organized and systematic structure. An outline ensures that you cover all relevant categories and sub-headings without missing any crucial topics. The outline makes it easy to break down the paper into smaller chunks that you can tackle one step at a time.
- Write The First Draft
Now, it's time to start writing the paper. Flesh out each sub-heading using the evidence you have collected. Remember, since it's the first draft, it doesn't have to be perfect. It's okay to make mistakes since you'll come back later to revise and edit.
- Cite The Sources Correctly
Citations are a crucial part of the research paper. Make sure that you follow the precise formatting rules when including citations. Check if your university requires MLA or APA style for citations and follow the required format.
- Edit & Proofread
Finally, revise the research paper to identify and spot any typos, grammatical errors, and other mistakes. Check your report at least twice to ensure no structural issues and verify if you have followed the suitable formatting styles.
You can ensure that the research paper is spot on if you follow these steps. And, if you would like some help with your research paper, you can hire class help online
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