How to Write a Research Paper – Guide

Writing a research paper is kind of interesting as you dig into different interesting material to put in your paper. There various steps one has to follow in order to create a good research paper.


1. First, you should select a good topic. To build on the topic and thesis of your paper or report, it is important to read on the topic. Choose a topic which interests you, this will give you an opportunity to further your interest in the area and ease your stress in the research work. You then follow by narrowing your topic so as your topic is not too broad.

When given a topic it is very important to read and understand what the topic is talking about. To avoid mere accumulation of work, you must base your collection of material to answering a specific question. This question is called the thesis statement. It is very important as it guides you on what material to collect (pertinent material), it also guides the reader on what to expect on your paper.

2. After these steps, follow by acquiring appropriate reference material. This is done by selecting a bibliography. Be sure to take down all the possible references you need and where they can be found. Keep in mind that efficiency and time saving is increased when you’re systematic, it is important to filter your resources in order to make sure that the information you put in to your paper and report is valid.

You should then collect notes and categorize them as per the topics you collect. This will help you maintain flow in your writing. You ought to have clearly in mind what you want this material to add up to before you begin writing. Therefore you should decide on an approach point of view where you control over your work.

3. After a preliminary research has been done, the thesis statement has been solidified and a method of research has been chosen, a brief outline must be written. You should have in mind that the only way to control data to help you gain support for your objective is by working out a detailed outline. The presence of an outline as a guide gives the research paper specific system and flow. This is important so that you do not go about the research work blindly and randomly. Now that you have an outline, you should proceed and start drafting your paper. Since this is a draft you should write as fast and spontaneous as possible. This will ensure general flow in putting down your ideas. The more you write the better since editing is easier than gathering material to write. Then, you should immediately go through your work to make spontaneous revision and clarify your work after which you can take a breather.

4. Editing follows, this is important because you check whether your work is understandable or not and if your grammar and structure are correct. While editing you should always reposition your sentences and paragraph to create flow. Follow by deleting and adding material to achieve balance. Once there is balance, look to insert transitional words. You can then proof read your work, if you’re having second thoughts have someone else read it in order to gauge the probable reactions and criticisms on the research paper. In this way, you can make minor changes to the paper in order to make it more cohesive.

5. Finally, make a fine copy of your work. This copy should have ample spacing, generous margins, correct spellings and appropriate citation style used.

Tips & Warnings

1. The most commonly used styles are APA, MLA, and Harvard, although there are also other styles such as Chicago and Turabian.

2. Be sure not to hand in your work late.

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