Writing a research paper is a lengthy and complicated process. However, like any academic exercise, there is a definite structure to it. If you know this structure, you will have no problem creating a high-quality paper that will get you a high grade as well as recognition from your teachers, and even some help with your future career.
All research papers have a similar basic structure. Though, the exact structure of the body, the biggest and most important section of the text, differs depending on the subject.
The basic structure goes as follows:
The methodology section of the paper is the one that differs most depending on the subject. For example, the vast majority of economic papers should start with presenting a literature review, data used in the research, and an outline of the identification strategy used by the student when processing the data. This is what passes for methodology in economic, history, and sociology texts. Papers on nursing, chemistry, biology, and psychology require a detailed description of all the materials, methods, and subjects used in the study.
How to start a research paper?
The first thing you need to do when you are assigned with writing a research paper on any subject is to ask your teacher or professor about the formatting requirements to "write my essay" in the proper way. You should look for a template of a text you need to create so that you know exactly how your assignment should look like when it’s complete. It’s vital to ask for an example of the cover page for your paper as the requirements towards it are always very specific.
There are some general formatting guidelines, but every school and every professor often have their special ‘quirks’. Therefore, it’s always best to ask for a template or a guidebook first.
After this task is complete, you can start working on your project. No matter whether you are working on research for middle school, high school, college, or a science fair, the process of writing a study paper should progress the following way:
1. Selecting a topic
There are dozens of topics to write about on every subject. You need to choose the good one that will impress your teachers as well as allow you to conduct an interesting and valuable research. Always pick something you like personally and limit yourself to the topics you’ve already covered in class. Remember that your topic must be unique and original.
2. Finding and choosing materials
?When you know what you want to focus on, you can start going through reading materials and other sources of information you will need to use during research. Ask your instructor for suggestions and hit the library. Use the Internet to ask for ideas from more experienced students or just look through bibliographies of the books you’ve already selected.
3. Developing an outline
?If this is your first time writing a research paper, you can look up an outline example online. An outline is a plan of the text. There are two common approaches to creating outlines. The first entails writing a plan with complete sentences for every point, the second is based on short phrases that contain the gist of your ideas. Choose whichever you feel most comfortable working with and remember that this plan should be flexible, so you can change it a bit during the research to accommodate your new findings and make the paper itself more interesting.
4. Conduct the research
? It’s essential to have at least a rough outline for a research paper in place before you start on research because you will need it to guide you through the mountains of information available to you. Take careful notes and don’t forget to mark every source and quote to avoid accusations of plagiarism. Color-coding your notes will make it easier to work with them when you start writing the actual paper.
5. Write an introduction
With the material gathered and your research complete, you can start writing. The first thing you’ll need to do is to develop a thesis statement for your paper. This statement is the core of the work and must express its main idea. Note that the theses for argumentative and informative papers should be different. The former must give a clear idea of your most important argument. The latter should focus on the most important piece of information presented in the text and its usefulness for the reader. A thesis statement must be presented in the introduction, close to the start of the paper.
6. Write the first draft
? Now proceed with documenting every stage of your research and its results. Don’t limit yourself when writing this part as you need to put all your ideas and thoughts on paper.
7. How to write a conclusion for a research paper?
The concluding paragraph must provide a short recap of the research, but the information must be presented in a unique way, not just repeat the same words you use in the body of the paper.
8. Edit and proofread
?Now you can start ‘working out the kinks’ from the text and turning it into an excellent academic paper. First, fix the structure of the text and ensure that it’s separated into the distinct parts required by the format. Next, polish the style. It must be formal, but not overweighed with difficult terms. Finally, proofread the text and fix all grammar and spelling mistakes. Note that editing may take as much time as writing. It’s best to get some help with this part as an outsider might notice mistakes you miss.