Writing a good research paper was never an easy job. The process itself can be frustrating and logically – time consuming, to the extent that it becomes an anxiety trigger and a fantastic procrastination tool. Why is this happening so often? Research papers are an important part of one’s educational journey. They showcase one’s ability to understand the given topic, express their opinion on something, followed by demonstrating their academic knowledge, based on science-related facts and other sources of study.
It’s the final product that tells if a student conquered the subject or not. Due to its importance and complexity, writing a research paper can be a nightmare or can be a fantastic opportunity to stand out and fascinate everyone. This is why students often need some extra help when it comes to understanding the approach and the steps of the process in writing an outstanding paper. Luckily, if broken down on pieces that are easier to handle, and if simplified enough to focus on the quality without becoming anxious about finishing it on time, then the successful outcome is closer than ever!
Here are some tips on where to start and how to make the most out of your knowledge capacity, time, creativity and writing abilities:
1. Research, Research, Research
The importance of a great research can’t be emphasized enough. It’s the core and the base of everything you write, so it’s something you should put in a great amount of energy. If done properly, it will tremendously help you in several ways such as speaking with authority and being able to formulate ideas and statements that would represent your way of thinking along with the scientific evidence that follows. This is why you shouldn’t be afraid of spending some extra time researching and last-minute educating yourself, since it will only make it easier for you to cope with the task in the next steps.
Collect different materials and then start reviewing them and using them in your paper. Relevant and reputable resources are the ones who provide you with accurate information, such as encyclopedias and other books from traditional or online libraries, databases and articles of any kind, as well as government or educational websites. While researching and reviewing, don’t forget to take notes and create a scheme at the very beginning. Also, don’t forget to name every material you’ve mentioned so you can cite it properly afterwards. Having a clear vision of what you want to write, what you need to write and what’s expected from you to write is the most helpful way to start the project and to finish it on time, with great success.
2. Start Shaping Your Train of Thoughts
After you’re done with collecting ideas, it’s time for you to evaluate, eliminate and elaborate some of them. The best way to organize is to choose which ones to focus on, so that you don’t get scattered around and mislead your thoughts in several directions instead of one or two. Now you should have a clear understanding of what is the thesis statement and the main goal of your paper and that’s what you want to start with.
This way, you’ll be able to revolve around the central idea and support that statement throughout the paper, with an organized search and a carefully constructed theoretical framework. The goal is to create a material that will have a purpose and will contribute to the field you’re in. Based on the type of paper you’ve chosen, you can focus on the analysis, explanation of a certain point, or persuasion – if you’re trying to convince people to believe in something by arguing a thesis. No matter what type you choose, you need to think about the best way to prove your point and stick to it the whole time, since it serves you as a guide for your goal, methods and the final result you want to accomplish.
3. Do The Work
This is the next key step in your writing journey. After doing your research, finding a core statement and choosing the direction you wanna go to, you should simply start writing. If the previous steps were successful, the process of writing the main content will not be overwhelming. It will look more like filling in your previously selected statements with more information and your personal opinions about certain points.
Just don’t forget to check your originality, and try not to copy other works. Instead, use citations as your guidance but don’t evolve into stealing other people’s opinions or materials. There are various websites on which you can copy paste your paper to check for plagiarism. They are useful, since sometimes it becomes hard to differentiate your thoughts from the things you’ve read. Especially if you spent hours and hours writing and you’re exhausted. You can always create an outline and think of great subheadings so that you make your writing even easier.
After you’ve created a draft, you can get it approved by your instructor and if so, you can continue working on the details. Important advice to follow is less is more, meaning that if you come across something interesting and you wanna incorporate it in your research paper, you might think twice if that’s what supports your core statement. If not, then it doesn’t belong in your paper. Choosing only the relevant facts and information to include will make your research work clear and concise. Every paper has an introduction, the body and the conclusion. That means that the initial statement you’ve chosen has to be thoroughly explained and then at the end, summarized and emphasized.
Feel free to revise and edit at any point of your writing process, and constantly remind yourself of the core strategy you’re using. This strategy should help you stay focused, thoughtful, clear and specific. Attention to detail along with great grammar and punctuation is also an important aspect of having an outstanding research paper.
How to know you did your best? Following the guidelines and the rules is mandatory, but it’s not the only thing you should think about. If reading what you wrote made you inspired and motivated to present it to someone, or to further explore the topic, then you’re on the right track. It means you’ve created something that will inspire other and potentially, make a change in the world!