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How to Write a Research Paper
Edited by Jackie Sinclair, Jack Herrick, Jamie Littlefield, Imperatrix and 50 others
A research paper is an important part of academics. Most students will be assigned at least one research paper in high school and many research papers in college, regardless of their major. For help, follow these steps.
Sample Research Papers Sample Scientific Research Paper Sample Literary Research Paper Sample Environmental Research Paper
Writing Your Own Research Paper
Choose a topic that interests you. The more enthusiastic you are, the easier the research paper will be to write. o Choose one that overlaps with things you’ve already studied so that the work goes quickly.
Identify the goal of the paper. Generally, speaking, there are two types of research paper: o An argumentative research paper takes a position on a contentious issue and argues for one point of view. The issue should be debatable with a logical counter argument. o An analytical research paper offers a fresh look at an important issue. The subject may not be controversial, but you must attempt to persuade your audience that your ideas have merit.
Find good sources. Ideally, you should use a variety of sources, including websites, books, academic or professional journals, and interviews with experts. Realistically, however, a lot of your sources will be found online. While using a tertiary source like Wikipedia is not generally accepted in academic papers, Wikipedia articles often have citations linked to source material. Look for credible websites that end in .edu or .gov. Only use .com addresses that have a well-established reputation for excellence (ex. MayoClinic.com). o If the academic credibility