How to write a good research paper : Best Guide

How to write a good research paper : Best Guide

A research paper – This is a type of academic writing where a student analyzes data, interprets it, and provides arguments according to their research. They resemble academic essays. They are long and better detailed. They assess your skills in writing and your experience in performing good school research.

When writing your research paper, you need to showcase a good understanding of your research topic. Using various sources and contributing to original research is also a requirement.

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In this guide, you will learn the whole writing process. You will know how to understand your work, write your research paper, choose good research paper topics and present an excellent assignment. The following steps will help you when writing your research paper.

Understand your assignment

Doing your research paper and completing it requires you to meet certain requirements set out by your professor. Understanding your assignment instructions is the first step before you start writing.

  • Read through the instructions carefully to grasp every key requirement set out by your teacher. If confusion arises, discuss it with your teacher for clarification.
  • Note the goal of your assignment, deadline, length requirements, formats and method of submitting your assignment.
  • Develop a list of the main points crossing them off as you continue writing.

As you write, prioritize your deadline and number of words. Be truthful in your writing, do good research, write and edit your research paper.

Select good research paper topics

You can generate ideas for your research paper in many ways. You may brainstorm and write them down or discuss them with a colleague or your professor.

Freewriting can also be applied. It is based on choosing a wide topic, continuously writing for some minutes to find anything interesting to write about.

Previous researches are another source of inspiration. The recommendation part of research papers may include various topics which need to be examined.

After identifying a general area of research, do some research to identify a specific topic you can write about. The topic must meet the requirements of your homework. Your ideas should be specific and original.

Do a preliminary research

Write every point that is beneficial to your topic. Look for an important topic where you may draw focus from. Refer to various sources like books, websites you can rely on, and journals to grasp every important detail of your research paper.

Look for a variety of ideas, those in your mind and others that may oppose your main idea.

Important questions to consider

Are there important points being overlooked in the various sources you have researched?

Are there debates that can be addressed?

Is there a unique point of view on the topic to discuss?

Are there any recent changes that add to the existing research?

It is necessary to formulate several questions at this stage to guide you. When formulating your questions, ask the following questions

  • What do I want to know?
  • How did or will it happen?
  • Why did/will it happen?

Come up with a thesis statement

This is the statement that carries your main argument. It shows why and where of your paper i.e., the purpose and stand of your research proposal. Also, it indicates what proof you aim to use and reasoning applied in proving your research.

Your thesis statement must be:

  1. Coherent
  2. Contentious
  3. Concise

It summarizes your discussion point in one or two sentences, your argument needs more evidence and analysis, and it should relate to all points of that paper. You make changes to thesis statements as you write your paper and conduct more research. This happens but it should be your guide when writing your assignment. Each part of the report must try to expound and support your thesis statement.

Create a research paper outline

An outline of your research paper lists the main sections, arguments, and proof you wish to use in your paper. It is partitioned by headings into different sections. This creates a picture of what your research paper will look like.

An outline makes your writing easier as you have a sketch of what you are doing. It is a necessity when solving assignments with a specific format.

Draft your research paper first

Write a draft of your paper first. The draft may not be correct but you can revise it in later stages of writing. Concentrate on the following priorities during this step:

  • Just write your paper, don’t focus on mistakes, you will correct them later
  • Organize and order your paragraphs and sentences logically – this eases your work when it comes to revision and proofreading
  • Be clear and concise when explaining your points – this will help in understanding what you want to express in your essay

When writing your draft, it is not necessary to begin with an introduction. However, you can start with one if it comes naturally. This is a matter of how you understand your assignment.

Some students begin with difficult sections and end with easier ones. Others prefer starting with the latter. It depends on which sections you consider complicated. An essay outline is the most important tool in this section. Let it guide you as you write.

When revising your work, don’t delete parts of text you feel weak or out of context. It is recommended to transfer them to another document. They might become useful later in your paper.

Structuring paragraphs

Paragraphs are the pillars of your research paper. Every paragraph should explain a single point or argument that helps in supporting your thesis statements. It should help understand the aim of your paper.

Citing your sources

You should be careful to cite your work. Failure to this might lead to plagiarism which may result in penalties. Note down the source of information every time you refer to someone’s work. You may employ the use of citation generators to make citations as you write your paper.

Write your introduction

All introductions must answer the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of your research paper?
  • Why should I read your paper?
  • How will you prove your claims?
  • How will you present evidence for your arguments?

In the end, your reader should have the answers to these questions.

What?

Specify your topic clearly and concisely, show the background of your research, and explain any ambiguity that may occur in your paper.

Why?

The most complicated and most important section. You explain what your research will add or improve on the existing research. You also state the pressing concerns your paper will answer or define.

How?

Answering this question will take your audience through the rest of your paper. It will help them know what they will get from your paper. You should portray the main points of your research paper in a logical order.

Compose an engaging body content

Many writers face the problem of organizing the information they want to present in their research papers. This struggle can be solved by using an outline. Keep in mind that an outline only provides a structure of your paper. It acts as a guide when you are writing.

This does not limit your flexibility. You may alter the order of presenting your arguments and information.

Topic sentences and thesis statements can help you keep track of your writing. Check the following when writing:

  • Relate the topic sentence and thesis statement
  • Relate topic sentences with each other for similar properties and logical order
  • Relate every sentence with each topic sentence of the paragraph

Keep close attention to those paragraphs that discuss similar things. If these paragraphs exist in your research essay, ensure they follow distinct approaches to the topic. Ensure transition from one paragraph, one sentence, and one section to the other is smooth and natural.

Conclusion of your essay

Writing a research assignment conclusion helps give a feel of finality to your readers. It gets your reader out of your paper.

Creatively restate your thesis statement. This aims to avoid exact repetition of your thesis statement as written in your introduction.

Show how all your arguments are related and how they support your thesis statement. Settle issues by giving your stance on the arguments. Ensure your instructor understands how you have solved the problem you stated in the introduction.

Discuss the general effects of your arguments. Show what your research will offer for future learners in the topic. Suggest questions your arguments raise but are unable or do not attempt to solve.

Avoid the following in your conclusion:

  • Raising new arguments and defining any terms
  • Including excess information or being too wordy
  • Starting with phrases that suggest you are concluding your paper e.g., in conclusion, in a nutshell, etc.

Second draft

Consider the following when composing your second draft:

  • Checking if your paper outline rhymes with the first draft and that your research paper answers the arguments
  • Identify assumptions that need to be justified while still considering your readers’ point of view. Get rid of any point that you cannot provide enough supporting information
  • Feel free to reorder your arguments. Identify any parts that feel misplaced and rearrange them accordingly
  • If you feel some points don’t fit naturally in your research paper, be open to deleting them
  • Some new ideas might pop up when writing your first draft. Include them in your paper at this stage

Revision and proofreading process

The goal is to confirm that you have followed all necessary steps and accomplished the required tasks. Ensure your paper is to the point as possible.

Ensure:

  1. Your assignment meets all tasks stated in your instructions set
  2. Your paragraphs flow seamlessly and that they are logically organized
  3. Your paragraphs relate to a thesis statement and your introduction

Points to note

  • Check every paragraph to ensure:
  • Every sentence supports the topic sentence
  • No fluff or unnecessary information is given
  • All difficult terms or jargons are identified and replaced with simple words

The final part of revision is to proofread your work. Check formatting, grammatical errors, and sentence structure.

Ensure transition phrases and words are properly used in connecting your arguments. Remove typos and irrelevant words. Make sure you are consistent with spellings and header formatting.

Cite your sources using the specified format. Make sure you do it correctly. If you have problems with citing your work, seek expert opinions from professionals.

When revising your research paper assignment, follow this checklist:

  • I have adhered to every instruction of the assignment
  • The introduction shows my topic, hooks my audience and gives all background information
  • My research problem and thesis statements are well presented in the introduction
  • The assignment has logical organization using section headings and paragraphs
  • All paragraphs have one main idea presented in the topic sentence
  • All paragraphs support my thesis statement or research problem
  • Sentences, sections and paragraphs have clear transitions
  • The conclusion shows how your thesis statement is supported.
  • I have indicated what my research will add to existing knowledge
  • No definitions or new ideas or irrelevant information is presented in the conclusion
  • In-text citations are incorporated about other sources
  • The list of references is well-formatted following the right citation style
  • No grammar mistakes, typos or jargons in my research paper
  • My paper is well-formatted

Learning how to write a good research paper requires an understanding of your topic. You need to use good research paper topics in your essay. Having an outline makes your work easier. You also need to understand the format required in your research paper. If you are not sure about formatting, get clarification from your instructor.

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