How to Write a Good Research Paper?
Organize your research properly, select credible sources and formulate arguments coherently. This ultimate guide will help you with your academic assignment.
Although a research paper is one of the common assignments in higher education, it is not very easy to complete flawlessly. The main purpose of such a task is showing student’s deep knowledge of a particular subject and their analytical skills that allow making sensible conclusions. If you are not sure that you know where to start with a paper, don’t worry, this guide will help you out!
Start with Planning
It is always better to start as soon as possible, even if it seems unnecessary. As soon as you get an assignment to complete a good research paper, put it in your planner together with the deadline. Break a big task into several smaller steps and create a list of them, for example:
- Assignment analysis
- Brainstorm ideas
- Conduct sources research
- Write a thesis statement
- Create an outline
- Write a research paper
- Revise formatting and citations
These are the essential steps that you are going to take; and when your tasks are smaller, they are not so intimidating. Here’s a good idea – reward yourself after finishing each one.
Step 1: Read guidelines
Usually, all requirements are set in the task that your professor gave you. Read them through and analyze what points and questions are key. Each paper has a purpose, and it is crucial to define it before starting work on other steps. It is also useful to figure out specific citation format and scientific requirements regarding bibliography and formatting.
If the subject of a research paper is set in your task, think about the unique perspective of approaching it. Some good hints might also be given in course books or materials.
Step 2: Brainstorming
As soon as your guidelines are set and understood it is a time for brainstorming. One of the essential rules of this process is no criticism. Take a paper sheet or a notebook and write down all ideas that appear in your head during this process.
After you are done with it, try to find a connection and intriguing aspects of the subject. It is especially important if your subject is not directly set in the task.
Other important criteria when choosing your subject is that it should be interesting for you. People tend to be happier when working on tasks that are exciting for them.
Step 3: Do a Research
Now it is time to find relevant and credible sources for a research paper. First of all, revise various sources that are recommended by your professor to the course or this assignment, there might be some good studies. There are also several platforms one might use to find credible studies, such as:
-Google Scholar, it shows only scientific results and publications that are trustworthy and conducted by scientists.
-Online libraries and periodic publications. There are lots of online magazines that publish scientific articles.
– Governmental and credible websites.
– Statista, here are the most relevant statistic data to find on any subject. You might need them for a research paper.
– Wikipedia’s list of references. It is another tip to search for credible sources – at the end of each article Wikipedia refers to the sources used in the preparation, and there can be relevant and interesting studies.
When working with sources define which are the primary and secondary ones. The primary ones are the original text of a novel or witness evidence of the age. It is the main source of information on the subject. Secondary sources are further findings in regard to a primary source conducted by other scientists.
Step 4: Write a Thesis Statement
It is one of the crucial parts of any good research paper. It is usually placed at the end of the introduction and deals with the main question of a paper and supporting arguments. The formula is simple: subject + argument 1, argument 2, and argument 3.
A thesis statement needs to be clear and readable. Of course, some people prefer to write it after the main part, however, the formulation of the thesis makes it easier to organize ideas. It will serve as a guideline for what you are going to disclose further.
Step 5: Drafting an Outline
This is a good step to organize thoughts, use the common structure of the research paper to help you out. Remember that a standard structure is not the only rule; you might change it according to the specific needs of your paper.
It is important to answer the questions of the general context of an issue, its relevance and set the perspective of your research. The main body deals with the set of argument to support the thesis statement.
Choose the strongest argument that you have, it is not quantity, but quality that matters. A good idea is to go from a strong to the strongest argument in a paper.
Step 6: Writing
After all the work done, it is time for writing. Hopefully, you’ve got all research information and draft outline to fill in with the appropriate text.
Remember to dwell on one argument at a time; do not mix them in one paragraph. Here’s a good tip – start each paragraph with a key sentence that sets the idea of it.
Step 7: Revise formatting and citations
Use Grammarly to check spelling and grammar mistakes. It is decent free software that saves a lot of time. Make sure that all citations of are formatted according to the necessary citation style for this particular research paper.
Step 8: Proofreading
Now it is time for reading the whole thing through. It is good to do is to have some time to rest before proofreading it, so your brain is clear. You need to answer such questions:
- Is your paper readable and comprehensive?
- Are your thesis statement and arguments clear?
- Is the main question of your research paper answered?
- Does your conclusion correspond with your introduction?
- Is general text flow logical?
Use this checklist to make sure that everything is top-notch. Now your research paper is ready!