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Guide to Writing a Great Research Paper

8 January, 2020 Other

how-to-write-a-research-paper

 

For college and university students – writing a research paper is an inevitable assignment. You may feel the pressure or stress in regards to completing the paper on time or writing it if you have no experience of writing similar papers in the past. In this article, you will learn how to improve your research paper writing skills and reduce anxiety and stress the next time when you write the assignment.

A research paper is an original essay about your ideas regarding a specific topic and response to information from various literary sources. Let’s briefly look at the writing skills essential to writing an excellent research paper. 


Writing Skills

 

The skills of writing discussed here are meant to provide students with the foundation in both the process and mechanics of writing. These skills can be quickly learned progressively by learners hence building upon their fluency and confidence. The students can always improve their grammar and mechanic skills gradually as they write. 

 

Practical writing skills are not only essential for education but also for the workplace outside the classroom environment. The following skills are crucial for writing an excellent research paper.

 

Time Management

 

You have to organize your schedule correctly to ensure that every part of the research writing, such as topic selection, research, and writing, is done appropriately. The deadline for your work does not matter if it’s a month later or due in a week, ensure all parts are allocated sufficient time. Also, ensure you complete early enough to get time for proofreading and any mechanical errors.  


Good Research Skills

 

Since you are writing a research paper, you have to support your ideas and analyses using reputable sources. You need to find trustworthy sources such as material from the library and journal articles. These sources should be referenced appropriately according to the required style guide (e.g., MLA, APA, or Harvard). It would be best if you familiarized yourself with this writing style guides by searching online for information about that guide. 

 

Topic Selection

 

You need to portray your idea or thesis statement to the reader to understand what the paper will cover or convey. The thesis has to be supported by other secondary statements and evidence to substantiate the overall claim of the article. Research materials would greatly help to prove your claims or support your stand on a particular matter.

 

Understanding Your Audience

 

The audience is a critical factor for consideration in your writing. Most often, your papers are read by your professors or classmates. Your writing style and argument need to match the level of understanding of your target audience.  


Organization Skills

 

A well-organized paper is essential in the overall writing process. Crafting a compelling, well-structured essay will significantly enhance the delivery of the information. Research papers and dissertations depending on the discipline have a basic structure of title page, abstract, introduction, background, methods and materials, results, discussion and conclusion. Ensuring information is well-organized into its respective sections will eliminate the repetition of information. Organizing your notes well during the research process will also help you when compiling the reference list. 

 

Grammar Skills

 

Even if your idea is excellent, research is substantial, you managed your time well and understood your audience – you need to ensure that your writing is clear and straightforward. Use the correct formal tone, proper grammar and avoid using words that can be rendered as jargon. Also, ensure that your document is free from any grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. You can employ the services of a plagiarism checker software to ensure the content is unique and non-plagiarized.

A great paper must have a clear writing, excellent grammar, and the stylistic approach must be consistent throughout the article. 

 

Step-by-Step Research Paper Writing Guide

 

Follow these steps to write an excellent paper:

 

  1. Select a Topic - The topic should interest you and be not too narrow or broad to find materials to substantiate your thesis or claim. Avoid technical or super analytical issues that might prove a challenge to write about. 


  2. Develop a Clear Thesis Statement - The thesis statement needs to reflect what the entire paper argues for and supports. 


  3. Research to find relevant sources that will aid in your discussion and support your thesis.


  4. Create an outline – An outline will ensure that you stay on track and organized in your writing. The framework comprises the introduction, body and conclusion. 


  5. Create your first draft. – Using the outline as your guide, it's time to fill in the research content, highlight relevant quotes, paraphrases, and summaries that substantiate your claim.  


  6. Revise and edit your draft – Ensure your ideas and claims flow coherently throughout the paper. Proofread, edit, and correct any grammatical and typographical errors.   

 

The last stage of preparing your paper for the audience is the presentation phase that involves creating a presentable final printout – neatly typed and uniformly spaced margins.

 

Remember: writing a research paper is not as difficult, as it seems once you get to understand the method and writing skills. It entails a lot of work and time. However, no need to worry - maintain self-discipline by allocating enough time for all the sections, taking enough breaks, stay organized and, most importantly, do not forget to cite your sources. 

 

 


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