How to Write a Research Paper
According to Writer’s Help (n.d.), there are a series of steps for writing a research paper.
First of all, once you have your research topic, you would need to come up with a research question about your subject. Before you start to develop a research question, you would need to explore the subject. Reading, annotating texts and visuals, talking and listening, listing, clustering, free writing and asking questions are some of the strategies that you can use in order to get several ideas that will help you to generate your research questions.
After exploring your topic, create a worth-while researching question that will give you more focus on what to do during your research and writing. Then, you would need to design a research strategy in order to find relevant sources. You can do this by consulting a reference librarian or exploring your library’s website that will give you information on accessible resources. Do not merely choose a research strategy, such as using Google, without actually assessing all types of sources. After you have planned your research strategy, think of the function of each source that you will be using for your research paper.
Sources can be used for different purposes such as providing background of your topic, explaining terms or supporting claims. This would give you more focus on what information you would need from the sources that you will use. Next, select sources that you believe would give you the information that you need. During this stage, you only need to scan the sources. Make sure that the sources are relevant, reliable and current. Once you have selected your sources, start to evaluate the sources. While reading the sources, you need to take other people’ views or arguments about your research subject into account.
In order to do that, you would need to be open-minded in receiving a new or opposing idea. Analyze the contexts of the sources critically. Make sure that you take notes and keep track of the chosen sources while analyzing the sources. When taking notes, do not plagiarize the authors’ work. You can either use summarizing, paraphrasing or quoting strategy in order to prevent plagiarism. In addition, keep track of the sources by making a working bibliography, where you gather the list of the sources.
After that, you can start writing your thesis statement, which provide a main idea of your research paper. However, you can revise your thesis statement as you write your paper. You can start writing a draft after providing a thesis statement. For your initial draft, focus on the contents and organization of the paper. Make sure to use your own words when you use information from a source. After revising the contents of the draft, you can then think of the grammar and sentence structure and create a final draft. Finally, you would need to document the sources that you use.
You would have to recognize the type of documentation style that you are required to use. It could be MLA style, APA style or Chicago style depending on the courses you are writing it for. By documenting the sources both in text and references list, you basically have finished writing a research paper. In conclusion, these are useful steps that you can practice in writing a good research paper. REFERENCES Writer’s Help (n. d. ). “How do I begin a research paper? ”. Retrieved from http://writershelp. bedfordstmartins. com/ebooks/helphandbook. php