How to Write a Good Research Paper Tips

1. Choose Your Topic

When choosing a topic, choose one which interests and challenges you and has enough information. It is good to focus on a limited aspect.

Select a subject you can manage. Avoid subjects that are too technical, learned, or specialized. Avoid topics that have only a very narrow range of source materials.

2. Locate Information

Use information from a variety of reference sources. These sources include encyclopedias, almanacs, scholarly journals, books, magazines, and newspapers. Find these sources in print form, on CD-ROMS, and on the Internet. Remember to always cite your sources both in-text and in the bibliography.

3. State Your Thesis

Do some critical thinking and write your thesis statement down in one sentence. Your thesis statement is like a declaration of your belief. The main portion of your essay will consist of arguments to support and defend this belief.

4. Prepare An Outline

All points must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your capital Roman numeral.

The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other.

  • Introduction - Brief comment leading into subject matter. State your thesis and the purpose of your research paper clearly and explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why your topic is interesting.

  • Body - This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Find 3 supporting arguments for each position you take. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point.

  • Conclusion - Summarize your arguments and explain why you have come to this particular conclusion.

    5. Organize Your Notes

    Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct.

    Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place.

    6. Write A Rough Draft

    Use your note cards and outline to write a rough draft of your paper. As you write your draft, use numbered footnotes to credit sources from which you take quotations or major ideas.

    7. Revise Your Outline And Draft

    Read your paper for any content errors and make any changes needed to be sure your ideas are clearly expressed. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind.

    8. Prepare Your Bibliography

    At the end of your paper, provide a list of all the sources you used to gather information for the paper. List your sources in alphabetical order by the first word.

    9. Prepare A Title Page and Table of Contents

    The title page is the first page of the paper. It should include the title of your paper, your name, and the date on which the paper is due. The table of contents is the second page. It should list the main topics, important subtopics, and the page on which each is introduced in your paper.

    10. Final Checklist

    Before handing in your paper, correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability and remember to keep a second copy.

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