Are you writing your first-ever research paper? Are you worried you are not going to get it right? Come on board as we take you through the top issues you must pay attention to when writing your first research paper and how to solve most of the problems you may face.
Before Writing Your First Research Paper
Although the writing format for a research proposal and a research paper is the same, they are different in nature. A research paper is a type of writing that aims to portray the academic knowledge of a student or professional in a subject matter.
On the other hand, a research proposal is written to let the readers or audience known the worth of a research paper.
Before you start writing a research paper, there is a need to produce what is called a prospectus. As the name implies, a research prospectus is like a proposal for used to convince anybody who intends to read the research, that includes the research committee, project coordinator or a professor that it is possible to carry out such a project and it is worth the time and resources to be input in it.
Proceeding To the Main Process of Carrying Out a Detailed Research
Despite the fact that this content will focus on the organizing and actual writing process of a research paper, there is an important process that should be mentioned which is the research process.
The research process is very vital because it will enable you:
- Understand the subject matter you are writing on;
- Formulate proper ideas for the paper;
- Develop a thesis statement;
- Authoritatively speak on the topic;
- Get and review resources for the project.
Some materials that will help you in your research include:
- Google Scholar;
- Books and periodicals;
- Government publications;
- Online Encyclopedias;
- And databases.
As you carry out your research, ensure that you have a spreadsheet to keynotes and keep track of your references. The spreadsheet should contain columns and headings like Reference link, Title, Quotes, and Author.
Each university or instructor has their preferred citation style. Always check out the preferred citation style before you commence writing your research project.
Take Time to Organize Before You Start Writing
At this point, you’ve gotten tons of ideas from your research and you are more than ready to commence the actual process of writing.
Before you write, don’t forget the organization step. This step is very vital for the success of your project. Without this step, you will lack focus and will spend more time doing revisions at the end of your writing process.
The Thesis statement contains a summary of the major points you will discuss in your research process. It is very vital because it serves as a guide to the reader to understand the beginning, main idea and other points in your research paper.
Analytical, expository or argumentative are the three major categories that most research papers fall into. If your content is in an analysis form, then your research is an analytical research paper.
If the aim of your content is to explain a subject matter in a subject, then your research is an expository paper. If on the other hand, your content is focused on arguing out a point, then it is a persuasive or argumentative research paper. Your thesis should correspond with the category of research paper you choose to write.
After writing your thesis statement, the next step is to provide an outline. An outline is where you mention the main points that will be contained in your paper. Your main points should appear as a subheading. Your main contents will appear under each sub-heading.
Note that any information that you don’t deem fit to be listed on the outline doesn’t have a place in your research paper.
Research Paper Writing Process
Once you complete the two steps mentioned earlier, you will feel motivated to dive into the main writing process. At this stage, you have all your thoughts and ideas and a very clear direction. These are the best outline for a research paper.
- The introduction should contain a background or fountain for the rest of the content. You should be able to capture the attention of your reader with your introduction. Your introduction is your first and best shot at portraying your ideas and findings before spreading out the main content of the paper in the next stage. Most newbie fumble at the stage of research paper writing and get their readers to lose interest in the entire paper. Always ensure to have a captivating introduction that contains a cap of all your selling points in the main body.
- Your outline helps you navigate this aspect of writing. The outline serves as a guide to complete the body. It helps keep you on track as you write. Here you must have a detailed explanation of the major discussions required of your research thesis. The body must contain accurate information backed by pinpoint references from reliable sources.
- The conclusion section of most research papers is mostly a recap of the thesis statement. But you have to be careful to reword it.
Now you have an idea on how to write a detailed research proposal, always remember to thoroughly proofread and edit your work before the final submission.