Writing a research paper? Think content. Think structure. If you really want to impress your professor, you must know the criterion he sticks by and use this as a guide. A teacher usually evaluates research papers based on how it is written, on the tone and choice of words of the author, the grammatical correctness, and the use of different literary devices. When writing a research paper, take note that a professor primarily evaluates your writing style.
If you want to get high grades or if you want your professor to recognize your research paper then you should pay extra attention to the format of your research paper. A research paper is a formal paper. It follows certain principles that you should obey when writing a paper.
Principles of Writing a Research Paper
- Sophisticated Vocabulary
When writing a research paper, a sophisticated vocabulary is essential. By using thoughtful and maybe even hifalutin words, you will definitely impress your professor. Just be sure to be as creative as you can and to be truly knowledgeable in what you’re talking about. But be wary. Do not overuse sophisticated words, and do not put worldly words that will just seem out of place. Find the balance between the extreme words and commonly-used terms.
When writing a research paper, unusual terms are always welcomed. This will give your research paper a scientific touch to it. However remember that not everyone will understand you, so be sure to provide a definition or explanation of the terms you use, even if you think that your professor knows the word.
Do not be cliché in your choice of words. Avoid overused idioms and phrases since these words probably do not have as much impact as it used to. Use proper synonyms when writing commonly used terms. And most importantly, follow the golden rule of writing a research paper: Do not use a single contraction in your paper.
- Impersonal Tone
Because research papers are formal papers, there should be no references to yourself. Do not use “I think” or “I believe”. Avoid these expressions at all times, and instead replace them with neutral expressions in the form of a passive voice. This is one of the key points in writing a research paper.
- More Frequent Use of Passive Voice
As mentioned, using a passive voice when writing a paper is very effective; it creates a tone of objectivity and formality. This technique is particularly useful when the subject acted upon is unimportant or even when you want to use long modifiers at the end of your sentence.
However you still have to be cautious. Do not overuse the passive voice when writing a research paper; this can create a boring tone to your paper. Find the proper balance between active and passive voice in writing a paper.
- Complex Sentence Construction
When you’re writing a paper, your sentence structure and length should also vary. Use different types of sentence constructions such as simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, complex-compound sentences.
Writing a research paper will be more preferable with the use of complex grammatical constructions however this may not always be effective. Again, balance between simple and complex is key.
- Formal Linking Devices
Take note that linking devices can change your sentence’s tone, so it will be helpful to use various linking devices. When writing a research paper, you can change the use of “for example” with “for instance” or “especially”. You can also use expressions like “thus”, “in effect”, “as a result”, etc. when conveying an effect.
When writing, you cannot be lazy. Look up synonyms online if you’re finding it difficult. A variety of linking devices will ensure that your research paper has a smooth flow and will produce the desired effect you want on your readers.
The use of proper punctuations is very important in any form of writing, most especially in writing a research paper. Misuse of punctuation can cause confuse and misinterpretation in the part of your readers.
Do not forget the basics and just keep these in mind: a period is for full separation of ideas; commas and coordinating conjunctions show relationships as: addition, choice, consequence, contrast, or cause; a semicolon shows that the second sentence completes the first sentence’s idea.
- Overall Presentation
Writing a research paper all boils down to the overall presentation; this is what counts in the evaluation. You have to ensure that once your reader sees your research paper, he will want to read it.
In formal writing, there should be no brightly coloured texts, no weird fonts and no unnecessary graphics. Be as simple and as accurate as possible.
The more neatly laid-out your research paper is, the more likely it is to be approved by your professor.