If writing a research paper is difficult and confusing, let us help you change your mind. Here is your beginner’s guide to writing a research paper!
Students always get intimidated by the mention of research papers. While we understand and expect that reaction, we can also give you this consolation that research papers are not that impossible of a feat. All you need to do is understand it better and follow the rules and regulations.
That is why we have put together this beginner’s guide to help you understand and be familiar with what a research paper is and how you can go about it. Therefore, without further ado, let us start with everything that you need to know about writing a research paper for the first time.
To begin with, let us first clear our idea about what a research paper is. A research paper is categorized as an academic piece of work that deals with in-depth analysis, argument, and interpretation of a well-researched topic.
If you are familiar with academic essays, think of research papers as the longer and more comprehensive version of that. Here, you are not simply judged for your writing skills, but also the following factors:
Let us now start with a step-by-step breakdown of the various steps for writing a research paper.
To begin with, you need to understand your assignment well and pick a topic that you can work on. Keep in mind that you will have to research here so start by making sure you understand what you need to do. Once you are clear on the assignment, start by planning your research phases by considering the number of words, time limit, how long it will take for you to research as well as write.
Next, you need to settle on a topic. While choosing a topic may seem easy, you must not take it lightly. It is better that you brainstorm and decide on a broader topic and gradually narrow it down to a niche. Being specific is the key to choosing a good topic.
The initial research will include a lot of reading so try going through books, journals, websites, and other such sources related to your topics. The key here is to look for opposing statements and factors to your idea. A good tip here would be to ask a lot of questions and decide a path for your research. This will help you in forming your research statement.
A research statement is a small piece of documentation that will tell your reader what your goals and intentions are with this research. It helps give purpose to your work.
Next comes framing the paper so you have a rough outline of what you want to and need to do. Divide your paper based on heading and subheadings and list all the things that you want to include.
Once you have the frame ready, start working on your first draft. While it is not an easy job, you will make mistakes. But you can gradually work on them. Make sure you are focusing on the clarity of your ideas and focusing on organizing your work in order. Here is a tip — you need not start from the beginning. Start from the point which seems easy and familiar to you.
The introduction is the what, why, and how of your research paper. As it is the beginning of your research paper, you need to pay good attention to it. It needs to be short, clear, straight to the point, and informative.
Remember the frame that you made? It is now time to use it. Roughly use your paper frame to slowly work on the body of your content. Also, make use of the research statement and the list of topics to further work on your content.
The conclusion is where you present the result of your research — your opinion on the matter. Your conclusion should help your readers conclude with the argument.
Lastly, you come up with the second draft and then enter into the revision phase. Here editing and proofreading play a major part. So, you may consider hiring a professional to get an expert view of your work. You should thoroughly edit and proofread your paper before you consider the submission.
While writing a research paper may seem overwhelming and intimidating at the beginning, you will find out that it is not so. Therefore, the best advice for this would be to take it one step at a time, plan, and focus on the ultimate goal of what you want to contribute to your research paper.