Writing a Research Paper
HOW TO WRITE A
term) paper, but you aren’t exactly sure where to begin. Research papers can be exciting and interesting to write, but they can also be intimidating and daunting, especially if it is your first one. Let’s start at the beginning. You need to select a subject area and define your topic. If you then take each step in turn, the process will be much more manageable. There will also be times when you will miss or need to repeat a step, but we will talk more about that later. The method discussed in this guide will work best if you have given yourself plenty of time. If you have waited until the last minute, your options will be more limited, but you may still benefit from using this guide. The research paper, also called a term paper, should contain a thesis statement, or hypothesis, which explains to the reader the overall position or point of your argument, and the ways in which you plan to advance your argument and persuade the reader. Follow these steps to complete your paper: Select a Topic O, YOU HAVE TO WRITE A research (or
You will most likely be given a broad subject by your instructor. This subject will typically have something to do with the course material you are studying. A topic is derived from the subject but differs from it in specific ways. Narrow the Topic
While this may seem obvious, it is a very important step. You need to make sure that the topic is not so narrow that you only have a few words to say about it. You also do not want it to be so broad that you attempt to write a multivolume encyclopaedia.
Writing a Research Paper
Develop a Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is what makes the research paper a research paper. This one statement is a crucial element in the success or failure of your project. It serves as a preview for the paper and also communicates to the reader what will be proved or disproved. Gather Resources
This is the “research” part of your paper. You want to allow plenty of time to gather resources since this is a process that may take you in many directions. Think of this step as a process and not an event. You will probably not find everything you need in just one trip to the library, nor will you find everything on the Internet. As you conduct your research, you will learn more about your topic and be directed toward even more resources. Read, Analyze, Record
Not only do you have to gather the resources; you will also have to read them, analyze them, and take notes on points that you may want to use to support your thesis. This is the information that you will use to build your outline and write the draft and final paper. Create an Outline
After gathering resources and drafting a working thesis, it is time to create an outline of your paper. This will help you refine the thesis and your arguments. An outline is essentially a road map from which you write your paper. Write a First Draft
This is a crucial step. As with the outline, a draft will give you an idea of the materials you lack and how much additional information you need. After writing your draft, you may find that your topic is too broad. For example, you may write ten pages and only cover your first two points. Don’t worry if your writing isn’t perfect yet. Remember, this is only a draft. Gather Additional Information
While not always necessary, this is the point in your paper where you look for very specific information to make some of your arguments stronger. For example, you may find that adding a statistic, map, picture, or graph will support your argument. You may also find that you cannot find specific information to support one of your arguments, and might discard it in favor of one for which you have ample supporting material. Revise the Draft
At this point, you will make editorial changes and insert new material that you have gathered. You may also find that you need to eliminate items for which you have not...
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