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How to Write a Research Paper

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❶Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability.

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Reading your essay aloud reinforces your words and makes it easier to recognize when something is phrased strangely, or if you are using a word too often. And if you use a tool like Grammarly it will even give you tips on using active vs.

Not sure what that means? Click here to get the app for FREE! Lastly it is always important that someone else besides you read your essay before you submit it. Find a professional who can give you constructive feedback on how to improve your essay — this may be a tutor or a teacher. It can also be someone who specializes in the subject you are writing about.

The absolute BEST person to review your essay would be the teacher that assigned it to you. And yes, many teachers WILL read the essay they assigned before it is due and give you pointers on how to make it better. For most of us, writing a research paper is no walk in the park.

Do you have experience writing a research paper? What process did you use, and was it effective? Tell us about it in the comments below! Bonus… it is FREE! Click here to download now! And if you have time, you could always change certain parts to include better info, too! A 5-page, size 12 font research paper… due in 2 weeks. Oh… and before we get started, I HAVE to share with you the 1 tool needed to write your research paper… It is the same tool I used to write this blog article and make sure my grammar errors were caught without having to hire an expensive editor!

What is it you may ask? Seriously it is a lifesaver and best part… it is FREE! Start early We all do it. It may sound like waaay too early to start, but it gives you enough time to: Read the Guidelines Ever taken a shirt out of the dryer to find it has shrunk 10 sizes too small? What is your teacher looking for in your essay? Are there any specific things you need to include? Do the research It IS a research paper, after all. WHO Who is the author of the source? What are they known for? Do they have a background in the subject they wrote about?

Does the author reference other sources? Are those sources credible too? Is it professional looking? Is there an organization sponsoring the information, and do they seem legitimate Do they specialize in the subject? WHEN When was the source generated — today, last week, a month, a year ago? Has there been new or additional information provided since this information was published?

Keep track of your credible sources! Create a Thesis Statement How to write a thesis statement is something that a lot of people overlook. How do you write a thesis statement? Create an outline Once you have constructed your thesis, the rest of the outline is pretty simple. Write your research paper Here it is — the dreaded writing. Here are some basic tips for writing your essay from International Student: Read your essay Why do I need to read my essay if I wrote it?

Seriously… I know I keep talking about this app but it is a lifesaver! Have someone else read your essay Lastly it is always important that someone else besides you read your essay before you submit it. Conclusion For most of us, writing a research paper is no walk in the park. Start early — 3 weeks in advance! Create a Thesis Statement Create an outline Write your essay Cite your sources In-text and in your bibliography Read your essay twice and once aloud!

Don't make your notes so long and detailed that they essentially copy what's already written in your sources, as this won't be helpful to you. Depending on the purpose of your research paper, you may find yourself needing to adopt a position or draw some conclusions about your topic. As you research the subject, ask yourself how the information you encounter fits in with the objective of your paper.

For example, if you need to present two sides of an argument and then side with one, identify information that corresponds to the different viewpoints surrounding the topic and organize the sources accordingly in your notes.

Sometimes the objective of your research will be obvious to you before you even begin researching the topic; other times, you may have to do a bit of reading before you can determine the direction you want your essay to take.

If you have an objective in mind from the start, you can incorporate this into online searches about your topic in order to find the most relevant resources.

For example, if your objective is to outline the environmental hazards of hydraulic fracturing practices, search for that exact phrase rather than just "hydraulic fracturing. Talk to your teacher. If you are researching for a class, ask your teacher or professor for advice or suggestions as to the direction you should take with your essay.

He or she might be able to help you out by narrowing or broadening your focus or by pointing you toward useful resources. This way, you will also be able to gauge whether your teacher approves of the topic you have in mind.

Avoid asking your teacher to give you a topic. Unless your topic was assigned to you in the first place, part of the assignment is for you to choose a topic relevant to the broader theme of the class or unit. By asking your teacher to do this for you, you risk admitting laziness or incompetence. If you have a few topics in mind but are not sure how to develop objectives for some of them, your teacher can help with this. Plan to discuss your options with your teacher and come to a decision yourself rather than having him or her choose the topic for you from several options.

Break up your essay into sub-topics. You will probably need to address several distinct aspects of your research topic in your essay. This is an important tactic for producing a well-organized research essay because it avoids 'stream of consciousness' writing, which typically lacks order.

Consider what background information is necessary to contextualize your research topic. What questions might the reader have right out of the gate? How do you want the reader to think about the topic?

Answering these kinds of questions can help you figure out how to set up your argument. Match your paper sections to the objective s of your writing. For example, if you are trying to present two sides of a debate, create a section for each and then divide them up according to the aspects of each argument you want to address.

One of the most helpful things you can do when writing a research paper is to outline the various sections and primary points of the essay.

Do this before you begin writing so you can visualize how each of the essay's parts will fit together. This will also allow you to rearrange components of the paper to make it flow logically. Some people like to include a few sentences under each heading in their outline to create a sort of "mini-essay" before they begin writing. Others find that a simple ordered list of topics is sufficient.

Do whatever works best for you. If you have time, write your outline a day or two before you start writing and come back to it several times. This will give you an opportunity to think about how the pieces of your essay will best fit together. Rearrange things in your outline as many times as you want until you have a structure you are happy with.

Research papers, unlike creative writing pieces, usually adhere to a specific style guides governing the way sources must be cited and various other aspects of writing mechanics. If you are writing a research essay for a class, your teacher will probably specify which style the essay must conform to. Consult your teacher if you aren't sure what style to use. If you are assigned a specific format, you must take care to adhere to guidelines for text formatting and citations.

Some computer programs such as EndNote allow you to construct a library of resources which you can then set to a specific format type; then you can automatically insert in-text citations from your library and populate a references section at the end of the document. This is an easy way to make sure your citations match your assigned style format.

You should set realistic writing goals for yourself so you can stay on task without feeling overburdened. It is a good idea to create a schedule and set aside blocks of time each day to work on specific parts of your essay.

This way you aren't stuck writing nonstop for two days to meet your deadline and you can check things off your list as you complete them.

You may wish to start by simply assigning yourself a certain number of pages per day. Divide the number of pages you are required to write by the number of days you have to finish the essay; this is the number of pages minimum that you must complete each day in order to pace yourself evenly. If possible, leave a buffer of at least one day between finishing your paper and the due date. This will allow you to review your finished product and edit it for errors.

This will also help in case something comes up that slows your writing progress. In this section, introduce your topic and establish the purpose for your essay. If you intend to investigate a debated topic, state this in your introduction. You want the reader to have a good idea of what the essay is about and how it is constructed by reading your introduction. Save your opinions and any conclusions you've drawn for the rest of the essay.

For most papers, one or two paragraphs will suffice. For really long essays, you may need to expand this. Don't assume your reader already knows the basics of the topic unless it truly is a matter of common knowledge. For example, you probably don't need to explain in your introduction what biology is, but you should define less general terms such as "eukaryote" or "polypeptide chain. Build the body of your essay. This is the meat of your paper, on which you should place the majority of your focus.

The length and detail of your essay will determine the form of its body, but at a minimum this should include any key arguments, any research methods used and results obtained in cases where you performed original research , and your main research findings.

Alternatively, you can consider moving this to the introductory section, but only if your essay is short and only minimal background discussion is needed. This is the part of your paper where organization and structure are most important. Arrange sections within the body so that they flow logically and the reader is introduced to ideas and sub-topics before they are discussed further.

Depending upon the length and detail of your paper, the end of the body might contain a discussion of findings. This kind of section serves to wrap up your main findings but does not explicitly state your conclusions which should come in the final section of the essay. Avoid repetition in the essay body. Keep your writing concise, yet with sufficient detail to address your objective s or research question s.

Cite your references properly. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when writing a research paper is to fail to properly cite your sources. Passing off someone else's ideas as your own, whether intentional or not, is plagiarism, and it could land you a failing grade or even expulsion from your school. Take the time to ensure you are citing information the right way by following these guidelines: Always use quotation marks when using exact quotes from another source.

If someone already said or wrote the words you are using, you must quote them this way! Place your in-text citation at the end of the quote. To include someone else's ideas in your essay without directly quoting them, you can restate the information in your own words; this is called paraphrasing.

Although this does not require quotation marks, it should still be accompanied by an in-text citation. This section stands apart from the essay body in that it is devoted solely to stating the conclusions you have drawn from your research. Avoid discussing details of your research or presenting results in this section. You may wish to rephrase your study objective and state how your findings address that goal.

You should aim for one or two paragraphs, if possible. Conclusions should directly correspond to research discussed in the essay body. In other words, make sure your conclusions logically connect to the rest of your essay and provide explanations when necessary. If your topic is complex and involves lots of details, you should consider including a brief summary of the main points of your research in your conclusion.

Revisit your thesis or objective. Once you've completed your first draft, you should go back to your introductory paragraph s and evaluate whether your essay accomplishes the stated goals you presented in the beginning.

A good essay will thoroughly address any questions or unknowns posed in its introduction. If your conclusions do not logically follow the stated purpose or objective of your essay, then you will need to fix this. Making changes to the discussion and conclusion sections instead of the introduction often requires a less extensive rewrite. Doing this also prevents you from removing anything from the beginning of your essay that could accidentally make subsequent portions of your writing seem out of place.

It is okay to revise your thesis once you've finished the first draft of your essay! People's views often change once they've done research on a topic. Just make sure you don't end up straying too far from your assigned topic if you do this.

You don't necessarily need to wait until you've finished your entire draft to do this step. In fact, it is a good idea to revisit your thesis regularly as you write. This can save you a lot of time in the end by helping you keep your essay content on track.

Construct a "works cited" section. This is a critical element of any research paper, because this is where you give credit to all the sources from which you borrowed information to write your essay. This is not something that should be left for the end of your writing; rather, you should build your works cited section as you write, adding citations as you reference them in your writing. Computer software such as EndNote is available for making citation organization as easy and quick as possible.

You can create a reference library and link it to your document, adding in-text citations as you write; the program creates a formatted works cited section at the end of your document. Be aware of the formatting requirements of your chosen style guide for works cited sections and in-text citations. Reference library programs like EndNote have hundreds of pre-loaded formats to choose from. Put finishing touches on your essay. After you have written your essay, there are some final things to take care of to turn your paper into a polished piece of work that your teacher will appreciate.

While not all of these have to wait until the essay is fully written, it is a good idea to take care of the important stuff first -- which is the writing, of course!


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HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE RESEARCH PAPER • Getting ready with data • First draft • Structure of a scientific paper • Selecting a journal • Submission.

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Writing a Research Paper. This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper. Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide.

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Steps in Writing a Research Paper. A series of steps, starting with developing a research question and working thesis, will lead you through writing a research paper.