This Chapter outlines the logical steps to writing a good research paper. To achieve supreme excellence or perfection in anything you do, you need more than just the knowledge. Like the Olympic athlete aiming for the gold medal, you must have a positive attitude and the belief that you have the ability to achieve it.
Choose a topic which interests and challenges you. Your attitude towards the topic may well determine the amount of effort and enthusiasm you put into your research. Focus on a limited aspect, e. Obtain teacher approval for your topic before embarking on a full-scale research. If you are uncertain as to what is expected of you in completing the assignment or project, re-read your assignment sheet carefully or ASK your teacher.
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. For general or background information, check out useful URLs , general information online , almanacs or encyclopedias online such as Britannica.
Use search engines and other search tools as a starting point. Pay attention to domain name extensions, e. These sites represent institutions and tend to be more reliable, but be watchful of possible political bias in some government sites. Network Solutions provides a link where you can find out what some of the other extensions stand for.
Be wary of the millions of personal home pages on the Net. The quality of these personal homepages vary greatly. Learning how to evaluate websites critically and to search effectively on the Internet can help you eliminate irrelevant sites and waste less of your time. The recent arrival of a variety of domain name extensions such as.
Many of the new extensions have no registration restrictions and are available to anyone who wishes to register a distinct domain name that has not already been taken. For instance, if Books. Check out online resources, Web based information services, or special resource materials on CDs:. Check out public and university libraries, businesses, government agencies, as well as contact knowledgeable people in your community.
Bookmark your favorite Internet sites. Printout, photocopy, and take notes of relevant information. As you gather your resources, jot down full bibliographical information author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, page numbers, URLs, creation or modification dates on Web pages, and your date of access on your work sheet, printout, or enter the information on your laptop or desktop computer for later retrieval. If printing from the Internet, it is wise to set up the browser to print the URL and date of access for every page.
Remember that an article without bibliographical information is useless since you cannot cite its source. Most research papers normally require a thesis statement. If you are not sure, ask your teacher whether your paper requires it. A thesis statement is a main idea, a central point of your research paper.
The arguments you provide in your paper should be based on this cenral idea, that is why it is so important. Do some critical thinking and write your thesis statement down in one sentence. Your research paper 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.
It is impossible to create a thesis statement immediately when you have just started fulfilling your assignment. Before you write a thesis statement, you should collect, organize and analyze materials and your ideas. You cannot make a finally formulated statement before you have completed your reseach paper.
It will naturally change while you develop your ideas. Stay away from generic and too fuzzy statements and arguments. Use a particular subject. The paper should present something new to the audience to make it interesting and educative to read. Avoid citing other authors in this section. Present your own ideas in your own words instead of simply copying from other writers. If you have time and opportunity, show it to your instructor to revise.
Otherwise, you may estimate it yourself. A well-prepared thesis means well-shaped ideas. It increases credibility of the paper and makes good impression about its author. More helpful hints about Writing a Research Paper. An informal outline working outline is a tool helping an author put down and organize their ideas.
It is subject to revision, addition and canceling, without paying much attention to form. In a formal outline, numbers and letters are used to arrange topics and subtopics.
The letters and numbers of the same kind should be placed directly under one another. The topics denoted by their headings and subheadings should be grouped in a logical order. All points of a research paper outline 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. Make the first outline tentative. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper?
State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic. BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the Rule of 3, i. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point.
Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion. 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.
Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper.
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. You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids.
Try to write about the text in the present tense. Use the third-person point of view. Finally, make sure the grammar is correct! Sample Environmental Research Paper.
Sample Essays Sample Othello Essay. Sample Tess of the d'Urbervilles Essay. Review your assignment sheet and rubric. Your paper needs to fulfill your teacher's requirements, so make sure the topic you're planning to write about fits the assignment.
Then, check that you're writing the correct type of paper and using the proper research materials. You don't want to do all of the work to write a paper and find out you did it wrong. If you have a rubric, then you know exactly what to do to earn a high grade. Think of your rubric as a checklist for your paper. Research your topic to find your thesis. Learn about your topic and try to form your own ideas about it, based on your research.
Take notes as you find interesting points and follow what interests you. Shape your notes into a thesis about the topic. The research you find will be used as your sources, so make sure they're legitimate and can be shown to your teacher. Utilize the internet, books, and various academic databases to find solid primary and secondary sources.
If you've chosen a topic that isn't quite amounting up to what you thought it would, it's still early. Pick something else that you may find easier to write about. This paper will present your ideas. As you do your research, what questions do you find yourself asking? What patterns are you noticing? What are you own reactions and observations? Delve into yourself to find your thesis--the string that ties it all together . A good thesis will succinctly express the main idea of your paper in one or two sentences.
Touch on all the points made in your paper Explain the significance of your argument Be logically sound Appear at the end of the introductory paragraph Here's an example: In his tale, the pardoner shows his hypocrisy by admitting he satisfies his own greed, committing the same sin he condemns, and attempting to sell his pardon's after the story. Conduct additional research to back up your claims. In most cases, your first round of research won't be enough to write a great paper.
You need to do specialized research to find sources that back up the claims you plan to make. You'll be switching from a general search about your topic to a targeted search aimed at finding information that backs your own ideas. Choose the sources that most strongly support your ideas. Check that your sources are reliable by making sure they're unbiased, finding the credentials of the writer, and verifying that the publisher is trusted.
Books, academic journals, and online databases are the best places to find good sources. This should organize your thoughts and be a skeleton of your points.
Don't worry about citing examples now, simply plan out how you want your paper to flow. It'll save you loads of time in the long run. Write down what points come from where. Finding information a second time can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Organize your outline to address the introduction, body, and conclusion. Bring in the reader and state your thesis in the intro, support your reasoning in the body, and wrap it all up at the end.
Part 1 Quiz Which is an example of a complete thesis statement? The consequences of these actions include a global rise in temperature which affects all life on the planet by causing climate change and ocean acidification.
Think of your paper as a sandwich--the introduction is the first piece of bread. In the first paragraph, the reader's attention should be grabbed and your thesis made. Introduce the topic in which you will be talking about.
Start with a relevant quotation, intriguing question, or by addressing the counterargument. Make sure that your thesis statement is clearly stated and leads into your paper. The reader should have a fairly good idea by the end of this first paragraph what they are about to be a part of. This is the "meat" of the sandwich: It should be three paragraphs long, all addressing a different, yet related, point.
Make sure each point is logically sound and adds weight to your thesis. A topic sentence generally the first sentence, but not always should clearly say what this point is.
Then, introduce your first piece of evidence, followed by sentences that connect your evidence back to your thesis. Explain how your evidence supports your points. Next, introduce your next piece of evidence for that point. In most cases, you'll have at least 2 pieces of evidence for each point, but you may have more in a longer paper. Follow the same format for each paragraph. The spotlight should dote on each point separately, allowing you time to argue in favor of it.
How does it relate to your thesis? Are you leaving anything out? Three paragraphs is standard for the traditional 5-paragraph paper. If your paper is longer, support your points as need be. If your points aren't all equally strong, sandwich your weakest point in the middle. End with a strong conclusion. This is the "bottom bun," the last paragraph in your paper. All you need to do in this paragraph is bring your paper to a close, restate what you have already mentioned in the opening statement, and leave the reader feeling satisfied.
End on a memorable thought, quotation, or call to action . Or, if your paper calls for it, allude to the consequences of your thesis if left unaddressed. What should the reader walk away thinking or wanting to do? Part 2 Quiz What is a correct way to structure a body paragraph? Topic sentence, 1st evidence, 2nd evidence, 3rd evidence, 1st analysis, 2nd analysis, 3rd analysis, concluding sentence.
Topic sentence, 1st evidence, 1st analysis, 2nd evidence, 2nd analysis, 3rd evidence, 3rd analysis, concluding sentence. Know what your teaching is looking for. They've probably said it in class 5 different times, but if anything is foggy, ask. Are they a stickler for third person? What's their take on page numbers and margins?
How many sources do they require? Are there sources that are unacceptable? Check for grammar and content errors.
You've been going over this paper for so long it may be difficult to truly see it in all its glory. Take a break for a bit, go back, and read it twice.
A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular topic, and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings. It can be either a term paper, a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation.
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When you write a research paper you build upon what you know about the subject and make a deliberate attempt to find out what experts know. A research paper involves surveying a field of knowledge in order to find the best possible information in that field. The overall tone refers to the attitude conveyed in a piece of writing. Throughout your paper, it is important that you present the arguments of others fairly and with an appropriate narrative tone. If you are having problems writing your research papers, take advantage of this service! The Center is located in Taper Hall, room Another.
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