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Research Paper Writing Tips

Research Paper Writing Tips

Writing a good research paper is the ultimate test of your writing capabilities and the ultimate test of your comprehension and grasp of the subject at hand. While knowledge and writing skills are key elements to get a good research paper, you must have an abundance of positive attitude and patience as well.

This article will give you some great research paper writing tips. The following steps will act as a guide in your research writing process:

Choose a topic

You must make sure that your choice of topic challenges and interests you. If you choose one that does not hold your interest, the end result is bound to be quite dull and uninteresting. Your positive attitude towards the topic will also drive motivation and determination to write a compelling research paper.

Make sure your research topic is narrowed down to a reasonable degree. It must be something like this: World Religion -> Buddhism -> Buddhism in Japan. Of course, you must remember to get your instructor's approval for the topic before embarking on the full-scale research writing journey.

The reason I used the word "reasonable" is that if you narrow your topic too much, then you might not find sufficient data to create a good research paper.

Find relevant information

The internet is your best friend. Search the net. However, you must remember to use only credible sources. Do not use sources that are unverifiable or unreliable. Usually, websites with extension names such as .edu, .gov, .org, etc are more reliable than the .coms.

Your library and the recommended reading list given by your instructor are great places to scout for information. These books and the internet sources from your college library are totally dependable and reliable and can be used without worrying about the authenticity of the author and/or the source.

As you garner information, remember to make diligent notes including the details of the information source. You must make notes regarding full information about bibliography including author name, the name of the book/website, page number, URLs, date of access, and everything else that you think is relevant. It is better to work with extra data than having to repeat the entire process because you forgot to or felt lazy to make sufficient notes.

Sort out your information and read and thoroughly understand the collected data.

Make your thesis statement

Here, the amount of reading and understanding will come to your help. As you comprehend the huge amount of data collected and make diligent notes, you will find a central idea forming in your head. This central idea will be the basis of your thesis statement.

Make an outline of your research paper

Of course, at this stage, the outline will be very tentative and could potentially undergo changes as your progress through your research paper. Decide what will come in the introduction which will include the thesis statement. Here is an example of an outline:


Body – Shakespeare's Literary Works: Drama, Sonnets, and Other Poems – This part should include points that support your thesis statement

Part A - You could include a short introduction of each type of his literary works.

Part B - Drama

  1. Tragedies

  2. Comedies

  3. Histories

Part C – Sonnets

Part D – Other Poems

Conclusion – This will include a short summary of each part of the body. It will ideally include a reworded thesis and a concluding statement.

This outline gives you a tangible idea to put your thoughts into writing. Feel free to change as and when you think a change is necessary depending on your progress and change of understanding of the topic on hand.

Organize your notes

Now, that you have an initial reading of the collected material and formed a tentative outline, start organizing your notes so that they are aligned with your outline. At this point, sort, critically analyze and synthesize the data collected. Check for verifications and relevance of the data collection. Make sure the data is up-to-date and not something that is very old.

Mark off the supporting points that you are going to use. Use even opposing points of view that you can counter in your research paper. Make your notes using your own words. Document and keep a record of all borrowed ideas as these details have to be included in your research paper during referencing. Eliminate all irrelevant data and create notes that are concise and precise and totally relevant to your paper. Keep all other information (except the organized notes) that you gathered aside. Do not discard them, however. It is quite possible that you might have to revisit the data.

Make your first draft

Do not hesitate to start writing once you have arranged your notes in your preferential way. Remember it is quite unlikely that you will get the perfect research paper in the first draft itself. But, make that first draft now. Write out all the data in the way that you imagined while making your outline. At this point, stick to the sorted and analyzed notes. So, write out the introduction, the body, and the conclusion the way you made your outline.

Revise and edit your first draft

Keep aside your first draft for at least one day. Avoid reflecting on it. After that one-day break, pick up your first draft and read it again. I am certain you will find plenty of places that you would want to be revised and edited. Do all the necessary changes.

When you are revising and editing, check again for facts and source information. Verify all necessary details again. Feel free to change the outline itself if you wish. Yet, make sure that the core purpose behind creating the research paper remains unchanged.

Final Notes

It is imperative that you thoroughly check for perfect grammar and perfect spelling before you hand over the research paper. The content takes a backseat if the mechanics of your writing is not in order.

At Prescott Papers, we have a dedicated team of writers highly experienced in the art of creating excellent research papers. Do not hesitate to contact us for help. Our writers will be able to help you with all your academic papers including custom essays, research papers, dissertations, and more.

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