How to Write a Research Paper
In this article, we’ll talk to you about the phases of writing an adequate research paper. However, if you want to devise a flawless research paper and be the best in your class, you must go beyond mere knowledge. Above all else, you need to be confident in your abilities. You must have the conviction that you have what it takes to write a remarkable paper! This represents the actual starting point when devising a high-quality research paper.
PHASE 1. OPT FOR A SUBJECT
Opt for a subject that you regard as fascinating and thought-provoking. The way you feel about the subject can be decisive to your level of commitment when writing the paper.
Concentrate on a narrow topic. For example, instead of writing about faith in general or global religions, you could approach a topic like “Islam." Before commencing a large-scale study, ask your instructor to authorize your subject. In case you’re not sure what your task actually involves and what you need to do, read the requirements again with the utmost attention or talk to your instructor.
Opt for a topic you’re able to manage. Steer clear of topics that are too scientific, scholarly or particularized. Moreover, don’t choose a subject on which there are solely a few available resources.
PHASE 2. SEARCH FOR DATA
Do an online search.
When searching for universal or contextual data, browse through helpful links, general data online, almanacs or encyclopedias like Britannica. To begin with, use Google or another conventional search engine.
Be careful about the extension of the domain you wish to access. Some of the most trustworthy domains are .edu (academic organization), .gov (governmental institution) and .org ( non-profit institution). Nevertheless, when accessing certain governmental websites, you need to be circumspect regarding potential political subjectivity. You should also be careful about the information you find on .com (commercial) websites. While a lot of these websites are very reliable, a vast array of them may include nothing other than commercial ads. If you go to Network Solutions, you’ll come across a link which can be very useful for learning what most of the domain name extensions mean. Be cautious about the huge number of personal homepages you may find when going online, as these homepages are very different concerning quality. If you understand how to appraise internet sites thoughtfully and to browse through their content in an efficient way, you’ll be able to discard information that is beside the point automatically. This way, you’ll be able to conduct your research much faster.
Throughout the past few years, a large number of domain extensions has emerged. We’re talking about extensions like .biz (trade enterprises), .pro, .info (data on goods/companies), .name, .ws (West Samoa or WebSite), .cc (Cocos Island), .sh (St. Helena) or .tv (Tuvalu). Due to this vast array of new extensions, you may feel puzzled, as it’s practically impossible to establish if a website with the extension .cc is, in fact, a .edu, .gov, .net, .org or .com website. A lot of these newly established domains do not impose any registration limitations. In other words, they are accessible to any person or organization who wants to record a different domain designation that hasn’t been used before. For instance, let’s say you want to register the website Research.com, but you notice that the domain name is taken. In that situation, you could use a service agent like Register.com to register your domain name as Research.pro or Research.name.
In case you wish to search for information in the Library, a good idea would be to make use of the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC).
Take a look at this list of different publications you can find in the Library: almanacs, atlases, AV registers, encyclopedias, lexicons, official governmental releases, guidebooks, reviews, periodicals, gazettes, vertical files, phone books, or mailing code indexes.
Browse through internet materials, online data facilities, or specific resources on DVDs:
Digital citation resources (made of databases like eLibrary or ProQuest)
Wall Street Executive Library
Directory for magazines and gazettes (such as OnlineNewspapers.com or MagPortal.com)
Answers.com – a virtual lexicon and encyclopedia multifunctional tool. This resource can be downloaded for free. It helps you to find responses to any questions you may have very rapidly.
Encyclopedia resources (like Canadian Encyclopedia or Britannica)
Periodicals and diaries (such as National Geographic, Newsweek or Time)
Gazettes (like USA Today, New York Times, Vancouver Sun, Los Angeles Times or The Toronto Star)
International Public Library
Topic related computer programs (for example, you can use this to find a writer)
You can also search for information in national and college libraries, company offices or governmental organizations. Furthermore, it’s advisable to talk to well-informed individuals in your circle.
You should not only read the information, but you should also assess it. Add useful websites to your list of bookmarks. When you come across valuable data, print it on paper, make Xerox copies or write it down.
When you collect your materials, take notes of all the bibliographical data you can find. You should write down the following aspects: writer, publication title, location, publishing firm, date, page numbers, links, publication and revision dates and the date when you accessed the website. You can write this information on your paper plan or printed materials. Alternatively, you can save it on your computer. When you want to print a document directly from your browser, you ought to access the settings page and tick the option that enables the printing of the link and date of access on all pages. Don’t forget that unless your resource includes bibliographical data, you won’t be able to use it, as you’ll have no means of referencing it.
PHASE 3. PRESENT THE THESIS
After pondering on your topic from an analytical perspective, devise your thesis assertion. This statement ought to be conveyed in a single sentence. It amounts to a proclamation of your conviction. The primary section of your research paper will include arguments that back up and advocate this opinion.
PHASE 4. DEVISE A PROVISIONAL STRUCTURE
Each of your ideas needs to be connected to the major subject you initially indicated.
Here is how the structure of a research paper should generally look like:
I. Introduction (short presentation of the topic – introduce your thesis assertion regarding the playwright William Shakespeare)
II. Body Paragraphs (the playwright’s childhood, romantic life, creations, death)
A. Childhood and youth in Stratford-upon-Avon
1. The playwright’s parents
a. John Shakespeare
b. Mary Arden
2. The dramatist’s romantic life
a. Marriage with Anne Hathaway
b. Mentions of Anne Hathaway in his works
B. The playwright’s creations
1. Theatrical works
b. Comedy plays
b.i. Love’s Labour’s Lost
b.ii. The Taming of the Shrew
c. Historical plays
c.i. Henry VIII
c.iii. Anthony and Cleopatra
2. Famous sonnets
3. Most celebrated poetries
C. The dramatist’s last years and death
a.i.1. Final theatrical works
a.i.2.b.i. Inscription on Shakespeare’s grave
A. Systematic recap
1. Childhood and youth
B. Reiteration of the thesis statement
C. Conclusive assertion
By devising a scheme for your research paper, you’ll be able to dissect your subject attentively and arrange your ideas in a coherent order before commencing the writing work. An adequate structure is essential to devising a high-quality essay. To check if your main ideas have a smooth flow and are interconnected, look at the scheme of the paper. Your scheme needs to comprise the following sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. To begin with, devise a preliminary structure.
INTRODUCTION – Introduce your thesis statement and indicate the scope of your essay. Talk about your primary motivation for devising the research paper. Mention the way in which you intend to tackle the subject. Does your paper amount to an accurate account, a book report, an analogy or an investigation of an issue? Succinctly present the principal ideas you want to approach in the essay. Mention the reasons for which your audience ought to read your research paper.
BODY – In this section, you need to introduce the arguments you’ll use to back up your thesis assertion. Don’t forget that you are required to present three substantiating arguments for every viewpoint you assume. The order of presenting your arguments should be from the weakest to the strongest.
CONCLUSION – Reiterate or paraphrase the thesis statement. Sum up the arguments you provided. Indicate the reasons that led you to this particular conclusion.
PHASE 5. SYSTEMATIZE YOUR OBSERVATIONS
Systematize the entirety of the data you’ve collected in conformity with your structure. Assess the study information in an analytical manner. Utilize the most reliable materials you can find and make sure the data is precise, authentic, of actuality and accurate. It is also strongly recommended to take note of conflicting perspectives, provided that they aid you in substantiating your theory. This constitutes the most responsible phase of your writing process. At this point, you need to examine, synthesize, arrange and assimilate the data you’ve collected. Ultimately, your main target is to gain new knowledge regarding your subject. This is basically the true objective of any research paper. You also need to be capable of efficiently conveying your opinions, notions and study results in writing, as is the case with reviews, research or term papers, or verbally, as is the case with verbal or multimedia presentations.
Avoid mentioning any data that does not apply to your subject. In addition to that, avoid any mention of data that you fail to comprehend. Check if the data you’ve included is attentively accounted from your own perspective. It goes without saying that you must avoid plagiarism by all means! Each external source you used must be referenced with all accuracy. During the process of structuring your observations, write down comprehensive bibliographical data for all of your quoted passages. Later on, this information needs to be included in your Bibliography.
Create your own technique of systematizing your observations. A particularly reliable method involves using specific colors or highlighters to distinguish the segments of your structure.
For instance: IIIC2d – this implies that the note “Going online” can be found in the following section of your structure:
III. Comprehending the online environment
C. The meaning of WWW
2. How to browse through the Internet
d. Going online
Arrange your observations by the structure codes you’ve assigned to them, like IIIC5, IIIC6 or IIIC7. This way, you’ll be able to swiftly group your materials when you systematize your observations in conformity with the structure.
PHASE 6. WRITE THE FIRST ROUGH OUTLINE
Begin with the first subject mentioned in the structure. Go through each of the relevant observations you’ve collected and organized by using characters such as Roman numbers.
Recap, reiterate or cite directly every notion you want to include in the research paper. Choose a method you’re comfortable with, like writing recaps, rewordings or citations on observation cards or distinct pieces of paper. All of your note cards or pieces of paper must be labeled with the structure codification or citation, for example, IIC5d or IIID.
All of your observation cards or sheets of paper need to be ordered by the sequence of the points in your structure, for example, IA, IB, IC. In case you want to use a word editor, you can come up with self-explanatory filenames that correspond to your structure codes. This way, you’ll find it easier to copy-paste your content when you write the final version of your research paper. For instance: copy the last Conclusion segment and paste it to IIIC. If you stick to this method, you’ll be able to devise a well-structured research paper that follows the outline by the book.
It may be useful to utilize a character like “*” to pinpoint a place that requires additional verification and editing. By using this uncommon character, you’ll find it easier to get back to that precise spot later. After you finalize the editing process, delete the character.
PHASE 7. VERIFY YOUR STRUCTURE AND PRELIMINARY VERSION
Read the essay with caution to check if everything is correct. Verify your information and numbers at least twice. Order and reorder your thoughts to comply with the structure. If needed, rearrange the structure, but be mindful of the objective of your essay and your audience. Be strongly recommended to utilize a free-of-charge grammar and proofreading tool like Grammarly.
Questions for the first revision:
1. Does my thesis assertion show concision and coherence?
2. Did I comply with the structure? Did I omit any details?
3. Did I write the arguments in a coherent order?
4. Are all materials adequately referenced? Does the paper include plagiarized fragments?
5. Did I succeed in demonstrating my theory using powerful substantiating arguments?
6. Can the reader understand all of my purposes and ideas?
Read the essay again to check for grammar mistakes. If necessary, utilize a lexicon or a synonym dictionary. Verify the spelling. Fix all of the mistakes you come across and enhance the general quality of your essay as much as possible. Have another person go through your paper. In many cases, someone who isn’t involved in the writing process can notice errors faster.
Questions for the second revision:
1. Did I write an adequate subject phrase at the beginning of every paragraph?
2. Did I use attested evidence or instances to substantiate the arguments?
3. Does the paper include any phrases that are too long or incomplete?
4. Did I use any pointless or repetitive terms?
5. Do the phrases have different sizes?
6. Do my thoughts and paragraphs have a proper flow?
7. Did I make any orthography or grammar mistakes?
8. Are my citations precise regarding material, orthography and punctuation marks?
9. Are all of my references precise? Are they adequately formatted?
10. Did I steer clear of abridgments? Did I utilize “cannot” rather than “can’t” and “do not” rather than “don’t”?
11. Did I express my ideas in the third person? Did I stay away from terms like “I believe," “I imagine” or “I assume”?
12. Did I present my ideas in a straightforward and compelling way without becoming subjective?
13. Can the audience feel accomplished after reading my essay?
PHASE 8. WRITE THE FINAL VERSION OF YOUR RESEARCH PAPER
Any official paper needs to be typed and printed. If possible, use a high-quality printing machine.
To make sure you comprehend all of the requirements imposed by your instructor, read the task instructions as many times as needed. Moreover, you should be aware of the way in which your paper will be graded.
To detect any errors, you might have made, pay close attention when proofreading the final version of your research paper. Make sure that the final essay is clean, orderly, elegant and compelling.
Try to finalize the essay at least one or two days before the time limit. This way, you can rest easy and proofread the paper as many times as possible. Before submitting your essay, ask yourself: “Did I make use of my MAXIMUM POTENTIAL when working on this research paper?”