A research paper is a form of academic writing that offers a thorough analysis, assessment, or interpretation of a single subject, supported by empirical data. Research papers are comparable to academic essays, but they are typically longer and more extensive assignments that examine your writing skills and ability to conduct intellectual research. To write a research paper, you must show that you understand the subject thoroughly, use multiple sources, and add something new to the discussion. Remember that a research proposal is not the same thing as producing a research paper. Research proposals are primarily used to secure the necessary financing to collect data for a research publication. The following are some of the defining characteristics of a research paper:
- A writer is expected to develop an original idea while conducting research.
- The paper is founded on a thorough investigation of a specific issue.
- While personal experience and reflection are preferred sources of insight, scholarly sources are acceptable.
- Research papers typically range in length from 4,000 to 6,000 words. However, occasionally shorter papers (about 2,000 words) or longer papers (over 10,000 words) are submitted.
- The length of a research paper typically exceeds that of other types of academic papers.
- Cite specific examples to support your claims, like experimental studies, samples, and documents.
Tips for Beginning a Research Paper
If you have a guide to help you out, getting started on your research paper will be a breeze. Below is a guide to help you write your research paper from scratch.
Read and Understand Your Assignment
Reading the assignment and prompt twice before beginning the actual writing is a good idea. Take note of the following technical details:
- Timescale- The timeframe varies with the sophistication of the learning or the depth of the investigation. There is often a period of six months to three years provided by tertiary institutions.
- Page limits. This offers you an idea of how much work will go into the investigation, and whether or not you’ll need to include visuals or statistical aids.
- Reference style. This will facilitate your work and make it more manageable. Research work is unfinished without the appropriate citations.
- Think about the nitty-gritty details, such as whether or not an abstract is needed or a cover page is expected.
The steps to producing a research paper will go into how you anticipate them after you have a strong grasp of what needs to be done.
Deciding On A Topic
Some universities’ professors and lecturers will let you major in whatever you like. In contrast, others may demand that you focus solely on your area of studies, such as Food Science, Nutrition, Environmental issues, Business, or Fashion and Design. It may seem like picking a topic is the easy part of writing a research paper, but it’s the most crucial step. There are numerous approaches to producing a concept for a research paper, including pen-paper brainstorming and discussion with a fellow student or lecturer. You can also use the internet to read up on past studies and current events related to your subject of study. Don’t go for broad, overarching themes; instead, zero down on one pressing question that requires answering.
Furthermore, the subject’s degree of intricacy should be taken into account. In order to successfully handle it, you must equip yourself with the appropriate knowledge and abilities. If not, you risk being bogged down and doubting your ability to finish the project.
Doing preliminary research can clear up any questions and point you toward the best resources. Your success depends on your ability to gather sufficient data for your project. To find trustworthy information, it is crucial to recognize the various sources available. The two primary categories of information sources are:
- Primary data sources include; Surveys, experiments, observations, focus groups, interviews, questionnaires, etc.
- Secondary Sources include books, journals, dictionaries and encyclopedias, biographies, and dissertations.
It is more efficient to skim sources rather than read each prospective source in full when collecting data for a research paper. If you find a source that could be helpful, bookmark it so you can return to it later. A direct and precise topic will make your work easier since it will be easy to arrange your sources and decide on the best.
A thesis statement consists of one or two declarative words that summarize the major argument of a research paper, essay, etc. The topic and goal of the article are both stated in the thesis statement. A study’s thesis statement is the most significant part of the paper since it asserts the author’s stance and conveys the central argument to the reader. You may be asked to provide a literature review, which details your research methodology and provides your findings to a specialist for verification. Even if a review of the relevant literature isn’t required, it’s still a good idea to start thinking about possible references right away so you have them ready to go. Your thesis statement ought to be narrowly focused on the arguments and evidence you plan to present in your paper. Remember that not every paper requires a thesis statement. Always check with your professor if you need clarification.
Prepare An Outline For Your Research Paper
Outlines are crucial for research papers because they provide an organized and systematic structure to cover all problems. An outline for a research paper is just a summary of the most important points you intend to cover in the paper, broken down into logical sections with descriptive headings. Your outline will primarily consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion. To ensure the research paper is comprehensive, you must ask your professor what information to include. The time spent outlining the work’s structure will pay off in the form of increased productivity once the writing begins. It is much easier to repair structural issues in the outline phase than doing so after the entire paper has been written. You should also add the proof that backs up your claims in the outline.
Writing a research paper introduction is challenging if you have no experience doing so. That’s why preparing your thesis statement in advance is important. Your thesis statement should appear first in the introduction; supporting material can be saved for the paper’s body. The introductory paragraph to your research paper is crucial. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
The title of your research paper doesn’t tell the reader anything much. This is when the introduction comes into play. An effective opening will:
- Contextualize your subject matter for your reader.
- Capture the attention of your audience.
- Provide an outline for what’s to come.
- Justify the time and effort required to read your research paper.
The difficulty of your readers will increase if they have to figure out what the piece is about without an introduction. When people first start reading your work, they can be overwhelmed by confusion. They may give up completely. Your introductory material will set the stage and get them ready for the in-depth investigation that will follow.
The meat of your research paper should be located in the body. In contrast to essays, research papers typically include a more structured body that is broken up into sections with distinct headers. Take cues from the sections you’ve created in your outline. The research body will also determine the number of pages the research will be since it carries major details on the report. Ensure you start your paragraphs with a topic sentence to enable your reader to grasp the paragraph’s context easily.
The conclusion of a research paper is meant to ease the reader out of the study’s argument and leave them with a sense of closure. Follow the paper’s progression and stress how it builds to illustrate your thesis. To conclude your article, ensure the reader understands how you resolved the difficulties you presented initially.
Types Of Research Paper Conclusions
There are a variety of different types of conclusions you might write based on the nature of your research and the tone of your article.
In most academic writing, the conclusion briefly restates the topic and thesis before moving on. While other research papers may call for a different conclusion style, this one is the most typical.
The purpose of an externalizing conclusion is to bring up new information or concepts that weren’t covered in the body of your paper but are still important to your study and thesis. By focusing on your issue’s effects on the outside world, you can inspire fresh lines of thought in your readers.
An editorial conclusion is when you, the editor, offer your final thoughts and opinions on the piece you just wrote. A conclusion like this ties your ideas to the evidence you’ve presented. Express your thoughts on the situation, the findings, or the subject.
At this point, it is also crucial to maintain track of citations to avoid accidental plagiarism. Always keep track of where you found any information you used. We offer free citation generators that may be used to quickly and easily write citations and store your reference list as you work. Identify the proper formatting style by consulting the task instructor or your project supervisor. There are two predominant styles used in academic research papers: The Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA).
Revision (Editing and proofreading)
Editing and proofreading the research paper as you go along is advisable. During this, you read over each paragraph to check for grammatical mistakes; immediately after, you update and add any missing material. Whether you do it yourself or hire an editor, thorough proofreading and editing will help you catch those errors. Revising a research paper helps catch problems with the document’s structure, such as when you need to add or remove sections or rearrange paragraphs, and also helps you catch wrong citations, spelling, or word choice errors. Having a well-revised second draft of your paper that you can deliver to your instructor or use to get feedback is the essential result of effective revision. As a last step in the editing process, check that your paper is prepared appropriately by the guidelines of the citation style you’ve chosen. Include an MLA header or craft an APA title page, for instance.
It would be best to reread your work after a few days to ensure it flows well. This will give you time to let your mind wander and distance itself from the details of your research so that you may return to it with new eyes. Thus, you should now be able to spot faults that escaped your attention before. Having a friend, parent, or classmate read over your paper is also a great idea. There is no harm in getting an outsider’s perspective on research work. Have them tell you if the paper is entertaining and easy to read. Please take into account their suggestions when you finalize the document.
Now that you’ve finished writing, you should check over your work before handing it in. You may do this with the help of our checklist, which includes:
- Does it correspond to the specifications and directions provided?
- Does your article adhere to the specified topic and provide complete coverage?
- Have you tackled all the objectives?
- Conforms to the prescribed number of words and pages
- Have you selected sources that are reputable, reasonable, and trustworthy?
- Is your thesis well-developed, distinct, and debatable?
- Can you guarantee that your work is original and free of plagiarism?
- Have you revised or proofread the work before submitting it?
- Have you checked the formatting?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Possible To Publish My Research
Yes. Your research article can only be published if it satisfies all requirements. Choosing which journal to submit a research paper to is the first step in publishing.
Where Can I Get Research Paper Editing Services
Numerous companies and websites offer editing and proofreading services that can be advantageous to you. The editor provides a timeframe within which the content can be revised and proofread for a price based on the workload.
How Do I Choose A Subject For My Research Paper
You may choose to generate a research subject in your field of study or request that your professor assigns you one. If the topic is not specified, choose one that is broad enough to provide adequate proof yet narrow enough to allow you to cover all the fundamentals. Avoid broad subjects that cannot be whittled down to a specific subject.