How to Write A Research Paper
Writing skills are essential for succeeding in high school, college, and at a job. Writing is not just an result, but also a process that helps us develop our ideas and think logically. Begin by brainstorming topics, collecting information, taking a lot of notes, and asking a lot of questions. Keep your notes and sources organized as you go.
When developing a topic, one should look for patterns and relationships, try to draw conclusions, try discussing one's ideas with classmates, teachers and parents. A new and different perspective can help shake up one's thinking.
How to get Started
The first step towards writing a quality research paper is to organize what is to be written. It is always nice to develop an outline to help to stay on track as we write, identifying the main points and what is to be the conclusion. The introduction should give your reader an idea of the essay's intent, including a basic statement of what the essay will discuss. One should always keep the basic outline of a simple easy first and follow it, further changes can be made as required but the basic layout is always followed . The following are the parts of the basic layout of an essay or research paper:
The introduction should give the reader an idea of the essay's or papers intent, including a basic statement of what the essay will discuss.
The body presents the evidence that supports the writers idea. Here concrete examples should be used, and generalities should be avoided as much as possible.
The conclusion should summarize and make sense of the evidence presented by the writer in the body (The Keys to Effective Writing, 2005).
These are the steps to be followed before writing any kind of paper or essay. After these basic guidelines are followed, amendments can be made according to the nature of the research paper and according to the different writing styles.
College courses demand many different kinds of writing that employ a variety of strategies for different audiences. During college, it may be required to write long essays or short answers in response to examination questions or one may be asked to keep a journal, write a lab report, and document the process one uses to perform research. College writing or writing college research papers, also called academic writing, is assigned to teach the critical thinking and writing skills needed to communicate in classes and in the workplace. The quality of one's writing depends on the quality of the thinking one does about his topic or his assignment.
The whole writing process is divided into three steps namely prewriting, writing, and rewriting or revising phases.
-Prewriting: In the prewriting phase one ponders over the questions like what he has to write about, what are his feelings about the topic to be written, how is the topic to be approached, how to organize the materials and the audience who will be reading the paper.
-Writing: In this phase the plan is implemented by working out the details and fine-tuning thoughts.
-Rewriting: In the phase of rewriting or revising, the material or paper written is reviewed, and techniques to for improving it are applied.
During these steps, there are some phases, which also take place before the final draft of the research paper is ready. The first phase would understand the assignment or research topic, which has been explained as prewriting earlier. Understanding the assignment or the research topic includes thinking over the fact that what kind of research topic it is and what is the main purpose of the research topic. Then in this context comes the issue of using systematic techniques such as the use of classic strategies.These strategies are ways to develop or organize a research paper, these include definition, division and classification, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, and process analysis.
Another important factor is looking at the topic from a multiple perspective when a topic is viewed from multiple points of view; relationships that have not occurred before are visible. This approach invites the writer to look at the topic as an entity, as a process or a part of a process, and as a system or part of a system (The Writing Process, 2005).
Doing exploratory research is included here with the prewriting techniques because library research often is a way to generate ideas. As we review the literature on a subject or read in a particular area, we may note ideas that will help us get started with the writing. Analysis, the basis of many other strategies, is the process of breaking something into its parts and putting the parts back together so that one can better understand the whole. When we focus on understanding something better by comparing and contrasting it to something else, we identify and analyze the similarities and differences. Synthesizing information, all the opinions, and research in support of the thesis or research paper are incorporated together. The relevant facts, statistics, expert opinion, and whatever can directly be observed with your opinion and conclusions to persuade the audience that the thesis is correct is integrated. Synthesis is used in supporting the thesis and assembling the paper. In applying the strategy of evaluation after synthesis, first, the criteria to be used to evaluate the subject will be established. Then applied to the specific parts of the subject that is being judged, and conclusions would be drawn that whether it meets the criteria.
The final draft is what we hand in as the completed paper. Before turning in the final draft, we should read what we have written all the way through at least once more. a black pen on the final paper. Choppy sentences, poor or nonexistent transitions between paragraphs, grammar and spelling errors, and other characteristics of a first draft should all disappear (The Writing Process, 2005).