how do you write a research paper?
- Review guidelines for assignment. The guidelines tell you what to and what you should expect. They will provide information such as sections your research paper should discuss and length as far as word count. You can use this information to your advantage when selecting a good topic.
- Define main idea and research question. The research question may appear before your thesis statement. You will provide reasoning on what you are questioning in relation to you thesis statement. The thesis statement is the purpose behind data discussed throughout your research paper. Each of these items should be strong and clear in order to write a well-thought out research paper.
- Make list of credible sources. This is a common problem for a lot of students. Some students may not be able to access sources they want to use for their papers. This would require making an extra trip to the library or going somewhere out of the way to get this information. Be selective with what you choose to help you and have some backup options in case you can’t access the original source you wanted.
- Have notecards and an outline to collect data from research. Notecards help you research your topic with ease. You can write down source information for citations. Notecards make it easier to put data in order depending on how you want to present in your paper. The outline can be used hand in hand with your notecards. You will use this information to help structure data based on subheadings and sections detailed in your outline.
- Write rough draft and be sure to paraphrase details. When you write a rough draft you are writing a basic sample of what your final will look like. This means when you include data you found during research you need to put this information into your own words. You may not receive full credit if you copy content word for word from the original source. This is plagiarism you want to avoid. The rough draft should look similar to what you would submit when it is final.
- Finalize work and double check sources, citations and proofread. Your rough draft may be written over a few times before you are happy with it. You may not need to rewrite the entire paper over and over again, but there could be sentences and paragraphs individually worth the extra effort. You will review ideas, thoughts and concepts for clarity. When others read your work they should be able to read it and understand the meaning behind it. Your work should be free of errors and citations should be double-checked. Proofread your work or hire a professional to help you. You can also get professional assistance formatting your paper based on the formatting style your paper is required to follow.