A research paper is a type of academic writing that is based on the writer’s analysis and interpretation of a specific topic. This writing should be done after conducting thorough research on the topic and provide evidence for the stand taken by the author. This research paper can be a doctoral essay, a master’s degree thesis or a scholarly article. If the paper is a scholarly article, a peer review process will be conducted and if accepted will be published by an academic journal.
Writing a Research Paper Involves 4 Main Stages:
- Choosing the topic to write: Choosing the topic is an essential step which determines the paper’s success or failure. Look for a topic that challenges and interests you as that will determine the amount of effort you will put to the research. Once you choose a topic, find out:
- If there is enough research material available?
- Is the topic unique or is it something that has been written about often?
- Is it the right one for my given assignment?
- Select Appropriately: Always choose something that can be managed and is not too technical or advanced for you. If you are unable to decide on the topic, ask for advice from your mentor or colleagues.
- Research on the chosen topic: Now that you have selected the topic, do thorough researches. You can use the internet which contains many encyclopedias, books, blogs, scholarly articles, web pages, interviews, etc. Do not use materials from unreliable websites as they are only advertisements or are biased. Use websites with .edu, .gov, .org domains as these are more reliable.
A visit to your local library will also be helpful in finding great research materials. You can look at journals, books or magazines for more information related to the topic you are researching.
- Create an outline for the paper: Once you have jotted down the entire research content next thing is to create an outline. Having an outline for your paper will help you organize it properly and also helps to think through what you will be writing. It is essential to have a good outline as it is an important step for a well-written paper. The outline should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Start your first draft using all the relevant points in your research and supporting the statements. The paper should have:
- Introduction: It should clearly state the purpose of this thesis, the reason for writing the paper and the approach taken. Mention the points you plan to cover and also whether this is a review, or analysis or a report.
- Body: Start with a strong statement and support it with great content. Create multiple chapters to make them more readable. End with your strongest statement and make your final point.
- Conclusion: End the thesis summarizing all the arguments and why you have come to the conclusion you have deducted.
Check the paper you have written for any errors which can be grammatical or content errors. The facts and figures that you represent should be right and not fictitious. If needed reorganize the outline and ensure you do not deviate from the purpose of the paper.