At first glance, research paper writing is a real nightmare for students. Believe it or not, but you can actually make the writing process smooth and effortless or even enjoy it.
It all depends on your approach, time management and your interest in the topic chosen. These ten tips will definitely help you not just to write a good research paper but literally enjoy the process:
Don’t postpone until you are in a rush
Easier said than done, right? But you have to admit that your research paper is waiting for you and you don’t really want to fall flat on your face with it. For an ordinary 20-30-page paper, leave an ideally month or even two. You will be in a rush on the last week anyway, but at least you will have a draft until then. To stay motivated, just keep thinking about the seriousness of this project.
Choose a topic
Don’t write about general things as it will make things complicated: extensive research, analyzing huge volumes of information and only writing about things everyone already knows about. Choose a narrow topic instead. Apart from that, be innovative in your topic choice to bring novelty and show your unique approach. It will drastically boost your motivation to work on your research paper. No one likes reinventing the wheel. Analyze some well-known notions from completely different perspectives and you will see how much you are ready to give to this project. Just don’t be afraid you won’t find relevant resources to work with.
Create a plan
Divide your research paper into draft chapters and subheadings and make sure they cover everything you want to write about and fit into the recommended paper size. Don’t forget to leave a section for practical analysis. You’d better schedule each chapter and set deadlines you should follow. Analyze a few Internet essays or articles to learn possible classifications and divisions inside your topic.
Evaluate the available materials
Visit all the academic or other local libraries to learn where you can find necessary materials on your topic or background materials for your own analysis. Some libraries have on-line resources that you can get access to. Search reliable on-line resources like Wikipedia or Britannica to see what they have on your topic.
Ask for help
With tons of books in the libraries, you might simply get stuck with your search. Use advanced search systems and ask librarians to assist you with finding important books. It sometimes impresses me how much they know about the books and where to find what you need. Also, feel free to discuss your paper plan and ideas with the professor.
Compile a bibliography list
Before you start looking for your research paper materials, you’d better have a bibliography of sources. The Internet will be your best friend here. It’s a good way to use academic articles for research paper writing – they are quite short and explain the topic precisely. It’s not enough. At the end of every academic article you use, you will find a list of references compiled by the author. There you will see some really useful books on your topic and the articles of other writers. Try searching for these materials on the Internet and if you fail, go to the libraries.
After you find seemingly enough materials for your paper, start analyzing them one by one and take notes that answer the questions outlined in each chapter. Do not be afraid you will examine information for different chapters at once. It will save you time as you will not have to get back to this source again later. Make sure you look for information that is relevant to your topic and helps you fill the gaps in your research.
Write a draft
Use your notes, quotes, and personal statements to create a rough draft. Write an introduction to describe your research paper objectives, topicality, and novelty. Let your professor look through your initial draft and make comments. Don’t ever treat his/her corrections as critics or something negative.
Edit your paper
Analyze the corrections and comments in detail and make all the necessary changes. Meanwhile, new ideas may come to your mind and feel free to insert them into the text if they are relevant to your topic.
Write the final version and conclude your paper
One of the best parts of your research paper for professors is the conclusion. They like to see what the students took from this research, their own thoughts and considerations. Don’t be shy to express yourself and answer the question your paper asked. Don’t leave it for the readers to choose their point of view.
You see, there is a lot of work to be done with your research paper. You won’t enjoy doing everything in a rush and feeling absolutely exhausted because you started so late. Instead, doing it all step-by-step will be fun, even if we talk about research papers.
Written By: Alice Jones
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