Writing a Research Paper in 5 StepsMonday, June 28th, 2010
Writing research papers is not so complicated
We all know that writing a research paper is a more advanced task than writing other paper types. In fact, few students know how to write them well. It is quite common to make mistakes such as not choosing a research question, committing plagiarism, quoting bibliography not suitable for their topic, etc.
This is because understanding the concept of writing research papers is not as simple as it seems. But you can actually learn how to prepare a good research assignment following five simple steps: choosing a topic, choosing a question, researching, organizing, writing! Keep reading and you’ll be ready to hand in a great work in the blink of an eye!
Step 1: Choose a topic
One of the worst mistakes you can make while working on this kind of papers is choosing your topic wrong. Because every time writing a research paper is based on the topic of choice, a bad topic translates into a bad paper. How can you avoid this? Be extra careful when selecting your assignment topics. If you try to reach too much in your paper, your analysis will be quite shallow, so choose a narrow topic for a deep analysis.
Step 2: Choose a paper question
After choosing the topic, try to find a question you will be able to answer through research. Remember the basic fact about this kind of paper: it is not just writing a report on everything you have read about the topic, instead the main purpose is to answer a question or controversy related to the topic you are researching. Do not choose two essay questions, since it will be very difficult for you to manage more than one at the same time in the very same research.
Step 3: Research
The key for a great researching is expanding your sources. If you only read one or two authors you will be constraining yourself. Every time you are writing research papers you should include as many texts, documents and testimonies, as you can, in order to show the examiner your commitment to your investigation. Of course, always quote properly the used bibliography, otherwise you could be accused of plagiarism.
Step 4: Organize your paper
Before you actually start to write, remember you should always start your paper (as well as your plan, which you should prepare beforehand) with an introduction, in where you delimit your topic, establish your question and write about your research methodology. Once you have it ready, you may start the plan by writing subtitles. Another good idea at this stage of the task is planning is the bibliography. Search through every article and find appropriate quotations you may want to include in your written assignment.
Step 5: Write
Well, finally it is time to write. But, if you have followed all previous four steps, this won’t take you too long. Consider the requested word count and divide it by the number of paragraphs you planned to write: the result is how many words you should include in each paragraph. Consider this to respect the essay word count.