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How Should I Go About Writing A Research Paper?

How Should I Go About Writing A Research Paper?

There are no perfect ways to write a research paper. There are some basic steps you can follow to write a research paper. However, these steps are not hard and fast rules to follow in the same given order. You can change the order as and when you want and depending on your situation.

You could start by doing preliminary research and arriving at your thesis statement. Then, you could find a few supporting points of evidence. You could write them after which you could realize that these points are insufficient or not good enough.

You could go back to doing more research and this process will continue until such time that the perfect research paper is ready to your satisfaction. Here are the steps that you can use as guidelines to write a research paper.

Developing your thesis statement

For this, you must choose a topic and then narrow it down to such an extent that you get ample material for writing your paper. To give you an example, "business management," would be a very broad topic and materials will be spread across hundreds of sources. However, "leveraging modern technology in business management," would be a better base to form your thesis statement.

So, use the topic that is given to you and then, carve out your thesis statement after doing some basic amount of research. Make sure your thesis statement or research question is neither too broad nor too narrow. If it is very broad, then your research paper will be too scattered to hold the reader's interest. If it is very narrow, then you may not get ample material for your research paper to be comprehensive and complete.

Finding and evaluating appropriate sources

Collecting sources for your research paper is quite a daunting task. In fact, I believe this is the most difficult part of writing your paper. The primary sources of information include the library, the internet or the World Wide Web, and other computer sources such as CDs.

As you read and gather the information needed for your paper, ask the following questions:

  • Is the content biased in any way? For example, is the author a member of a particular group or country that has a known prejudice for or against the topic? Could this aspect make their interpretations more subjective than otherwise?

  • Is the content agreeing with your thesis statement or disagreeing with it?

  • Is the information accurate? By this, I mean, is the author presented his or her own valid and verifiable resources for the article or content?

The reason why you have to evaluate the validity of your sources is because this adds credibility and respectability to your paper. To evaluate whether the material from the source can be used or not, you must get answers to the following questions:

  • To what extent does the source answer your research question?

  • Is the source written by an expert?

  • Is it a valid source?

Making Notes

While taking down notes, you must ensure that you write down all relevant details including the author's name, the title, the name of the publisher, the place of publication, the range of pages from which you have taken the material, the volume, and the date. It is quite a prudent idea to make notes on small index cards. You can place the cards in alphabetical order so that you can retrieve the data easily and without much ado.

You can write all details of a particular idea on one card. Like this, you can create many cards when one idea each. Then, you can arrange all your cards on a table top and then rearrange them as you deem fit or in the order of importance. This will ensure that you get a nice and solid structure of content for your research paper. If you do not like using index cards, use a notebook instead. Just remember to do things that you are comfortable with.

Write down only those notes that are relevant to your research paper. Having too much of notes can make the writing process very confusing and arriving at a reasonable-looking structure.

Quotations, summaries, and paraphrases

You must use direct quotations to add credibility to your paper. However, you must also remember that your research paper is not a string of quotes. It is important that you use your own original ideas and employ quotations sparingly. When using quotations, it is important that you use the exact punctuation, spelling, and wording as the original. You must, of course, cite your source.

  • While summarizing or paraphrasing a source, remember the following points:

  • Read and understand the content perfectly

  • Put aside what you have read and try and recall the relevant aspects of the content

  • Write this information in your own writing style so that this content combines seamlessly into the research paper

  • Citing paraphrased or summarized sources is critical.

Write the first draft

Write the introduction with the thesis statement embedded clearly and unequivocally. And write the body of the research paper in different paragraphs. Do not discuss more than one idea in one paragraph. Make sure you include all the evidence and examples that you found while taking notes of the materials. At this stage, you must make sure you focus on the examples and get them perfectly in sync with your thesis statement. If any of the examples and points of evidence you collected does not do justice to your research question, then you might have to redo the information collecting exercise.

Final Notes

Once you are satisfied with the first draft, then revise and edit it to get your final draft. Lastly, check for all the mechanics such as spelling, grammar, syntax, etc and ensure there are no errors. Recheck for the correctness of facts and figures before handing over the paper.

At Prescott Papers, our team of highly experienced and talented writers can deliver the best of research papers across various subjects. Do not hesitate to contact us for all your academic work including research papers, dissertations, projects, assignments, custom essays, and more.

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