Research papers are common essays that are completed during college, so don’t be surprised if our asked to write 1 or 2! Research papers can also be requested in any subject or course that you are taking, though typically they are longer than a standard essay, they are nothing to be scared of. In fact, the better you become at writing them, the easier it will be to complete them.
When given a research paper to completed, you may be given a topic or you may have the choice to choose one. When choosing a topic, pick one that interests you and one you want to learn more about. Keep the focus narrow and keep it specific, which will make it easier to write and you will be able to focus your attention on a specific area of a topic. Also, choose a topic that you can handle to write, avoid topics that can become too technical or specialized, which will make completing the research paper more difficult.
Once you have chosen your topic, begin the research. Use available resource, which includes the internet. Make sure to document any links, web pages online sources and information for your citation page as well. Make sure to pay attention to domain name extensions, since government and organization sites typically can be more reliable than the traditional sites. Keep in mind that commercial sites may have more advertisements than actual information. Also, additional extensions, such as .biz, .pro, .info, .name, .ws, .cc, .sh and .tv may be a little confusing and are not as common, so pay careful attention to these sites as well, and the information they provide.
When completing research there is also the option of the Online Public Access Catalog or OPAC to use as well. These can include:
- AV Catalogs
- Government Publications
- Vertical Files
- Zip and Postal Codes
- Telephone Directories
- Yellow Pages
Again, make sure to document all resources that are used for the citation page. This also includes page numbers and chapters too.
Once the research has been completed, you can move onto the thesis statement and outline of your research paper. Your research paper will be supporting and backing up your thesis statement. So you will want to complete a rough draft outline for the body of the research paper. The outline should have your introduction with the thesis statement, the body sections and the conclusion as well. The outline should be set up to make specific points that than have the supporting information below them. The body needs to relate directly back to your thesis statement, while the conclusion should restate your thesis, but not in the same words and tie the entire research paper together.
After the outline has been created, make sure to go through and begin organizing your notes and research material to make sure that it works with the outline, as well as being able to add anything else to the outline that is needed. Remove all information that is not relevant and does not pertain directly to your thesis. Go through all notes and research information a few times to make sure you only have what is necessary and relevant.
Now begin writing the first draft with the outline and notes you have. Make sure to start writing complete sentences and organizing all your thoughts from the notes and information you have. This will not be the only draft you have, it is only the first draft. After you have completed the first draft, make sure to look over these key items before completing another draft:
- If your thesis statement clear and concise?
- Did I use my outline?
- Is there anything? that I missed?
- Is there are sequence that makes sense to my arguments?
- Did I put everything in my own words?
- Are my sources cited?
- Is my thesis proved?
- Are my points clear and support my thesis?
- Is there a topic sentence for each body paragraph?
- Are my arguments supported with examples and/or proof?
- Look for any run on sentences.
- Look for repetition of words.
- Do my sentences vary in length?
- Make sure your paragraphs connect and flow from one to the other.
- Look from grammar and spelling errors.
- Check all quotes and citations that were used.
- Remove all contractions in the paper.
- Is the research paper in third person?
- Does my conclusion tie the entire paper together?
After making these checks, move on to making any changes and writing the final draft. You will want to check for spelling and grammar again at this point as well. ?