One of the more challenging school assignments is the research paper. Longer than a book report and more complex than a reaction paper, the research paper requires hours of reading, analyzing, writing, and revising. Because of this, not many students are excited to hear that a research paper is due at the end of the semester.
The good news is that a research paper is doable, provided you are aware of what needs to be done and have the willpower to commit to it. The following are some pointers to help you with your research paper.
- Choose an interesting topic for you
Some students make the mistake of picking a topic they think the teacher likes. Good, if you like it too. But if you don’t, your paper will be confusing and difficult to create. So when given a choice, select something you prefer so that reading and writing about it is meaningful to you.
- Research thoroughly
For your paper to be a good one, and for writing to be easier, you must research thoroughly. In addition to checking online for references, you should also check the books and journals in your library. Always aim for at least three references per argument so that you have enough evidence to defend your position.
- Formulate your thesis
The thesis statement is what you believe you will discover in your research journey. The paper will center around proving your point, so ensure you thought about your thesis well. This cannot be done without sufficient knowledge of the issue, so read and take notes before coming up with your final position.
- Make an outline
Writing becomes easier if you have something to follow. Outlining your paper can help with that. Create a rough skeleton of your paper by listing the interesting data for your Introduction, the important arguments for and against your position, and how you plan on closing the paper.
Once done, you can just refer to your outline every time you lose track of where you are. It also becomes easier to tweak what you will write since you can see the major points of your paper.
Writing will take much time, so allocate time daily to write your paper. Because of the paper’s length and scope, it is best to start right away rather than wait until the last minute. As you write, check your notes and outline again to see if there is something important to add or even subtract to make your paper better.
After making your first draft, it helps to reread your paper to see if you made any mistakes before submitting it to your teacher for the initial inspection. Once you get the comments back, revise immediately, so you don’t end up cramming in the end.
Before submitting the final paper, use a grammar-checking application to check your work or find someone trustworthy to proofread your paper for minor typos. Your paper’s grade will be higher if it comes out clean.
A research paper is a challenging endeavor indeed, but it is not impossible. So consider the steps above as you create your research paper. Good luck!