Don’t let anyone fool you. Research papers are difficult things to write. But they are an integral part of every college student’s life. A lot of people make the mistake of putting them off but the sooner you start your research paper, the sooner you can finish it.
And you don’t have to fear these assignments. There are ways to complete them successfully, to write research papers that are so appealing that your teacher cannot help but give you an ‘A’. Here are a few helpful hints:
1) Before you sit down to write your paper, you need to know what your teacher is looking for. If you can’t ask him directly, most universities expect their professors to provide students with assessment guidelines. These guidelines typically accompany the syllabus of the class.
If you can study this assessment sheet carefully, it should give you a clear idea of what your professor wants.
2) Once you know what the professor wants, start thinking up strategies that you can use to meet their expectations. Take a critical look at the instructions of your assignment. Analyze every single line, making sure that you understand exactly what is required.
Some professionals will encourage you to write some sort of anchor sentence, a line that summarizes what you wish to accomplish. You can keep making references to this sentence throughout the writing process to ensure that you are on the right path.
3) Take a moment to determine your strengths and weaknesses. If you know what you are good at and where you fall short, you can take steps to fill the gaps in your research process.
4) Once you have a clear picture of what needs to be done, you can start generating ideas for a topic. Some people do this by simply sitting down and writing their thoughts on paper in the hope that some sort of pattern will appear. Others talk to friends. The internet has simplified this process. An online article from Omnipapers will be useful at the beginning. By looking at the research papers that other people in your field wrote and published, you will receive inspiration for your own paper. If your teacher gave you the topic, then you have nothing to worry about
5) Once you have a topic, you need to start doing research. Again, the internet will help you immensely in this arena. Look at what others have written and the sources they used, and use that as a springboard for your own work. If you don’t like the internet, you can still use it to identify the literary material you will need to finish your paper. After that, you can just visit a traditional library.
6) This goes without saying; you need to take notes during your research. Once you have accumulated enough information to form a cogent argument, start writing. Produce a thesis statement that describes the purpose of your research paper.
7) Despite its size, a thesis statement takes a long time to perfect. Once it is done, you can work on your outline. Some people think they can work without an outline. But that is a mistake. Research papers are massive. You need an outline to organize your work.
8) Once you have an outline, use it to organize your argument and to write the rest of your paper. Some people might encourage you to include some sort of story or anecdote but others will argue that it isn’t necessary. If you have no idea how to even start writing the paper, go to the internet.
Look for detailed advice from former students and professors. If that isn’t enough, look for actual research papers that you can read to get a better idea of what your assignment should look like. Take inspiration but do not copy. Plagiarism is discouraged which is why you should keep a plagiarism checker on hand.
Many people that are accused of plagiarism do not copy the works of others intentionally. They spend so much time doing research that the words they have read bleed into their writing. But they are punished none the less. So you should avoid falling into this trap.
You are also encouraged to start as early as possible. Do not wait until the last minute to write your research paper. Give yourself as much time as possible to make mistakes. It would also help your situation if you found someone to analyze your progress and provide feedback.