Research paper writing process:
“I’ll figure that out… when I get the time.”
“I really don’t know how to start!”
“I really should write my paper!”
We’ve all heard these pronouncements before when writing a paper. Though it may seem hard, the good news is anybody can write a research paper!
There are several reasons for writing one:
- To piece together information from different sources and make the points cohesive
- To develop good written and oral communication skills
- To effectively find good information
Charging on blindly when writing a research paper is definitely not a good idea. It makes your academic life disorganized, stressful and chaotic. Improving your writing skills can help you finish assignments confidently and quickly throughout your professional career.
Here are a few tips on how to write a research paper successfully.
When a research paper assignment is given, it may already include a topic. Otherwise, you will need to choose your own. You may be forced to conduct your research with very little direction. However, you may be given a few guidelines such as page count, number of sources and a deadline. If no topic is given, brainstorm. Writing down your ideas can lead to productivity and will lead you towards a certain direction.
- Research Paper Scope
Do a short research via the Internet or library. Familiarize yourself with the topic. This will allow you to determine how narrow or broad your paper should be.
- Do Your Research
Flesh out the finer details of your research paper. Start going through your resources and make notes on sections that are pertinent to your paper. Remember to cite your sources! Citing references normally includes the author’s name, book title, paper or website, year of publication, publishing house, page numbers and/or date accessed.
- Outline your Paper
Developing a skeleton of the key topics to be included in your research paper helps you organize the flow of important points. Start with a broad introduction of the topic. Move forward by listing down sections you have read about (or will read about). General sections include: introduction, literature review, data collection, and results and discussion. Breaking it down into sections will give you a sense of directions while and after writing it.
- Create the First Draft.
Write the first draft of your research paper after completion of your research. By this point, you will probably have numerous sources and countless notes on the subject. You should have enough information to finish the entire paper. It’s important to “just start writing”. Don’t worry too much about the finer details at this point.
- Revisions are a Must!
Revisions of your research paper should generally take a longer time than writing the first draft. This is where you need to clean up all of the grammatical errors, spelling, run-on sentences and others. This makes the paper easily readable. Take the time to add or remove text if and when necessary.
- Proofread your Research Paper!
Nit-picky editing comes in handy during proofreading. Ensure that there are no mistakes! Watch out for correct verb tenses, punctuation, grammar, spelling, word choice and proper citations. Other details that you may have to look into are: page numbers, spacing and margins.
So when you’re assigned a research paper, keep these tips in mind. These will help you stay focused. Hopefully, you’ll be able to finish your paper quickly and meticulously.