Learning how to do a research paper is a skill that should be developed over time. Very few people are able to jump right into an assignment and expect to get it right the first time, but with persistence and practice, any student can be great at research paper writing. The following are great paper writing guides from professionals that will positively impact your writing abilities:
Choose an Interesting and Relatable Topic
If you are given your choice of topics, it’s best to pick something that you are genuinely curious about. The process of research and writing will be less difficult.
Draft an Outline of the Assignment
After finding your source materials and taking notes, you should draft an outline of the assignment. This will serve as a sort of guide or blueprint for developing your argument.
Do a Little Prewriting/Brainstorming
A great tip on how to start a research paper effectively is to simply prewrite or brainstorm about your topic. Write whatever comes to mind without any hesitation.
Draft a Thesis Statement as a Guide
The thesis statement is a single concisely worded sentence that tells the reader exactly what it is you will be trying to argue for or against. A draft should be sufficient at this point in the process.
Use Effective Transitions between Ideas
Transitions are important sentences that appear at the start and end of a paragraph to help the reader understand that you are starting and ending a particular sub-topic.
Don’t Overuse Quotations and Paraphrases
While the effective use of quotations and paraphrases will give your argument credibility, the majority of the assignment should consist of your original ideas.
Make Sure to Keep Accurate Citations
Equally important to using quotations and paraphrases is ensuring the citation information is accurate. Double check them so that the reader can easily find the source material.
Make Sure to Use the Right Formatting Style
Finally, always make certain you are aware of and are applying the correct formatting style for your assignment. The major styles are MLA, APA, and Chicago. And if you aren’t sure which to choose, ask your professor.
Finally, don’t forget to have your paper peer reviewed by other classmates or perhaps even a teacher. Any fresh perspective can shed some light on your strengths and weakness which you can then use to improve the over-al quality of your work.