Writing a research paper sounds really hard the first time you’re given that assignment. With correct practice and the right preparations, even a newbie to this type of writing assignment will be able to succeed. This article gives hints, tips and pointers on how to prepare and write the research paper.
The Preparatory Stage
A good research paper starts with good preparation. It’s always best to come prepared. The first step in the preparation process is to choose a topic. Most usually your instructor, teacher or professor may give the topic to you. If you are given the freedom to choose the topic, pick one that you’re very interested in. This way, you’ll have fun writing the research paper and you will have more ideas to impart and share on the topic. The next step is to do preparatory reading. Read light materials in this stage. The goal here is to have a general idea on what you like to expand about on the topic. This is where you restrict or put boundaries on what you should discuss if the primary topic is too general or broad. After that, formulate a THESIS statement.
The Data Gathering Stage
Unlike the preparatory reading, the data gathering stage requires more reading and aggressive research. Be sure to use of all research materials available to you (e.g. magazines, encyclopedias, online manuals and references, etc.). Be sure to write your bibliographies in 3”x5” index cards to ensure that you have taken note of all your sources and avoid the risk of committing plagiarism.
The Note Taking and Outline Stage
On the preparatory stage you have already restricted your research on certain topics. On this stage, it is time for you to make an out line. You may follow this format:
- 1st Topic
- 1st subtopic
* Subtopic detail
Once you have set the outline, take notes on what information and or arguments you need to put in. Write your notes on 4”x6” index cards and number them to put them in order chronologically this, way it would be easier to access your notes when you need them and browsing through them is faster.
Writing a rough draft is a necessity not just for budding writers but even the pro’s. Be sure to write multiple drafts if needed. This ensures that the piece is refined and well written. Try not to deviate from the main idea that each paragraph is supposed to convey. You may make your writing be an expansion or discussion of your outline.
The Final Deal
Once you are contented with the draft you have made, you may now write the research paper’s final form. Be wary of the format that is required for the paper. Most of the formats used for research paper are the MLA, the other one is the Chicago Style Manual. If it’s your first time hearing about these formats, make sure to research more on them. They will tell you about indention, spacing and other factors that are required for that format. If ever you fail to meet the format requirements, you will lose some unnecessary points on the paper. Remember to always play on the safe side of things. After writing the final draft, proofread again. Make sure to check if it conforms to the selected format’s standards, it’s free of typographical and grammatical errors too. Rewrite if needed. But rest assured if you did your part well on the rough draft stage, rewriting the final draft would not be needed.