Writing fundamentals: 10 steps to a good research paper
Writing a research paper requires knowledge of the fundamentals of writing. Even though students think the project is challenging, once they break it down into the small parts, it becomes manageable. The challenge is understanding what steps to take to make it simple. Here are 10 fundamental steps to writing a good research paper:
- Pick a manageable topic: This type of project is usually only a few pages in length. So, the topic needs to be something that can be accomplished in a few pages. Most students pick topics that are way too big.
- Conduct early investigating. Before you can commit to a topic, you need to be sure that there is enough information to support it. Early investigation is just a hunt to see if there are actual articles that can help you. At this point, you are not collecting information; you are simply browsing.
- Build a thesis statement. Once you find out that there is enough information, it is time to craft the thesis statement. You do this by creating a yes-or-no question using “should” to begin the question. The answer to the question will become your thesis. For example, if you are focusing on environmentalism, you could ask: Should the federal government makes mandates to local governments about curbside recycling programs? Your answer, which should include part of the question in the sentence, will become your thesis.
- Investigate for real. After you decide what you want to argue, you should then begin looking for support for real. Search your school’s database of academic articles from good quality sources. It is best to avoid doing a basic Internet search because you will only get sources that have paid to be at the top of the search engine.
- Build the bibliography. It is best to use an online app to do this. Be sure that you record every article that you find and plan to use.
- Write the introduction. You will need to begin with a hook. Then, include background information that will build into the thesis. The last sentence of the introduction should always be the thesis.
- Create the body paragraphs. Keep each paragraph highly focused and include a topic sentence that refers back to the thesis.
- Cite sources. Every time that you facts from an article, you need to include an in-text citation. This is true to paraphrased work as well as direct quotes. Get the citations from the bibliography app that you use.
- Complete the project. Write your conclusion and complete all of the extra pages that your instructor requires.
- Edit and revise.