Steps to Writing a Professional Research Paper
The major goal of such assignment as research paper is the development of excellent technical writing and research skills. So, teachers kill two birds at one time. It might seem much more difficult than working on a regular essay, but those students who have mastered the art of writing will only need to learn more about conducting research.
Research is all about working with the sources: primary and secondary. The student should find, analyze, and pick the most relevant information. The sources also have to be up-to-date and credible. Usually, Wikipedia and social networks are not allowed to be used as their users have access to editing the information. A good research paper should be based only on the proved sources like official dictionaries, scientific journals, newspapers, government reports, etc. As for the secondary sources, one may apply:
Once you start writing a research paper for the first time in your life, make sure to observe the following information:
- General structure of your paper
- Specific instructions usually provided by your tutor
- Peculiarities of formatting academic essays in English
- Books like this
- Research paper examples
By observing both good and bad samples, you’ll see the common mistakes students do when conducting research and writing down the outcomes. Following your teacher’s guidelines is as important as following the general format, so you’ll have to compare your work to the instructions from time to time. Finally, you need a guide on writing styles in front of your eyes all the time.
General Structure and Style
The organization of your research paper has to make it possible for any reader to reach the specific section easily. It might be:
- Relevance to other studies
Not all teachers are interested in reading the entire text as they have too many drafts to check during just one night or few. Create your research piece in a logical manner to make their job faster. Each section should be highlighted as a separate point. Thanks to the table of contents or outline with the mentioned pages, it would be comfortable to find any part without wasting too much time.
One of the major parts is a summary which must help your reader to define whether the topic is related to his own studies or whether the paper would sound interesting to him.
Each section must start from the new page. While you’re a school or college student, it’s not that important. However, if you want the highest score, then you’ll have to stick to the general rules. Include materials in the end if you want extra points.
As for the writing format, your research paper has to be:
- Printed or typed applying a 12-point font.
- Written in Times New Roman, Bookman, Helvetica, etc.
- The entire text should be double-spaced on 8 1/2" x 11" paper with 1-inch margins.
- Put the page number consecutively.
- Every new section must begin on a new page.
- Mind the page and word limits.
Here are some more rules of writing a research paper in English:
- Write in a prose including all articles like “the.”
- The main research topic must always be on the top.
- Paragraphs are required to separate every single point.
- All ideas must appear in logical order.
- Present tense is preferred as any research paper has to be based on facts and current events.
- You can use past tense to describe outcomes gained during the previous studies.
- No informal wording like slang or jargon should be accepted.
- Avoid superfluous pictures. Include official graphs and charts instead.
Choosing Points and Generating Ideas
Collect all possible ideas that are somehow related to your main topic. Choose no more than three of them to discuss in your research paper. But the entire study has to be focused on one plot. You can make a list of similar topics so that your audience can observe other sources later, but your research paper has to describe only one major topic.
If your tutor does not assign you any specific topic, you have a right to choose. It should still cover one of the points discussed during the semester. Include all ideas on a separate sheet of paper. Choose the topic in which you are competent enough. Also, select the topic which can be supported by many found on the credible sources found in your books or on the internet.
Go to the closest library to check the availability of information. It is better to avoid ideas that are too complicated to be researched. You will only lose your time. Students are encouraged to gather to discuss all possible topic ideas. After effective brainstorming, it is time to begin working on your outline and abstract.
Basically, an outline is almost the same as a table of contents, but it looks more like an action plan of the entire research. Unlike table of contents, the outline does not include page numbers. It tells more about each section in a small paragraph which appears after each section’s title. You can view a nice example for free.
First Steps to Writing Successful Research Papers
To begin with, prepare a draft. You may send it to professional academic writers when done to have it fixed. It is crucial to do a thesis before writing the first paragraph which is an introduction. So, once you have done with your title page and outline (some students leave their outlines to the end), you should write an abstract of your research paper.
Students must keep this part short just as any good summary. Only the basic points of your research topic have to be recalled. State the major question of your study and explain the reasons for choosing this topic, brief conclusion, and methods to be used. Mind that the summary which is called abstract has to be no longer than 200 words or even less. While the title comes on the first page, this section pops up just after the outline or table of contents.
It is recommended to complete an abstract once a student is done with the rest of the text. It would be easier to summarize what was written then. Remember about such thing as an economy of words. Do not sacrifice readability for brevity. You can include everything that has to be in a good abstract in just one long sentence.
The process of developing an abstract can be made simpler if you keep to the recommended structure. The elements that must be included in your research paper’s abstract are:
- Purpose of the study - hypothesis, general question, goal
- Model of the study and quick description of the experiment
- Results based on the specific data and evidence
- Most necessary conclusions
Thesis & Introduction of Your Research Paper
Keep in mind that the first paragraph, introduction, should not exceed a couple of pages double spaced.
The main goal of a strong introduction is to acquaint the reader with the sense of the research to defend it later. The author has to persuade the reader in the importance of observing certain points and testing particular ideas. The author is also interested in making the audience appreciate his purposes.
Writing an introduction is, perhaps, the simplest part. The only thing that can make anyone stuck in the middle of the process is developing a thesis.
The introduction is the first paragraph of your research paper. This single paragraph opens and encloses a research introduction.
Here are the basic facts and tips about research paper introduction. You may write a separate draft for that. Use online research paper and essay writing service to assist you with developing a cool introduction as well as the rest of your project’s parts.
- The first paragraph is all about making a first impression. If you are not assigned a specific topic, base your ideas on the up-to-date and recently discussed problems within your society. As for the thesis statement, this sentence must look like a claim, so it cannot be a question. In general, the first paragraph must be:
- Correctly structured
- The introduction is like the map to the entire research paper journey. Make sure to provide your reader with the fundamental information on your research topic. The student has to point out why the chosen subject makes sense.
- Use thesis statement to assert your main argument. This is the most critical part of any research paper and other academic and scientific papers.
- Reread your introduction sentence by sentence. Does it inspire to read the whole research paper from cover to cover? If not, try to look for more samples of great research paper introductions on the web.
- Create your unique writing style. As far as research paper is not a personal statement which may include various stories from your life, it is better to keep to the general guidelines and formatting rules. Still, don’t be too boring. Try to impress your audience by adding incredible facts or providing examples from previous experiments.
Materials and Methods Part
You have to think about the sources and study materials really carefully. The success of your study completely depends on the evidence. Research materials are described in the first section of the research paper body. They should be discussed on a separate sheet in case they are too complex.
When we speak about research paper materials, we mean different chemicals, biological elements, tools, and equipment applied to conduct research in laboratories. Commonly used supplies such as test tubes are not necessary to be included. You can identify materials along with the description of the entire research process. There is no need to go deeper in the description of each material – include a single sentence per each.
Writing the body of your research paper is impossible without mentioning the methods used to gain the results. It means:
- Writing down the full methodology
- Explaining the methodology in full (recall temperatures, incubation times, etc.)
- Make it shorter with the help of headings dedicated to certain procedures
- Students may want to generalize how each procedure was carried out without going into details. Think about what is important for the investigator at another institution while handling particular project
- Apply different figures and tables if necessary, but don’t forget to explain them in your appendix.
When you end up with your research paper’s body, move to the conclusion section, or the last paragraph of your study (unless the discussion is also involved).
Conclusion and Discussion
The goal of the outcomes section in your research project is to report and interpret your findings and their meaning. You should recall all points used to defend your topic. It has to be an absolutely objective part of the study. Don’t forget to restate your thesis statement in the first sentence of your last paragraph.
The most crucial thing students have to realize is that they have to distinguish material that sounds logical to be included in a research article from any raw statistics that would not be published. Consult your tutor before adding any notes or cards to your research paper.
On the whole, in your last part of the research you should focus on:
- Summarizing the findings as well as illustrating them if there is such an opportunity. Provide examples if necessary.
- Each obtained outcome must be mentioned. However, highlight only those results that defend your topic best of all.
- Write down the question that was addressed by carrying out a certain observation.
- List the outcomes of the control experiments.
- Evaluate the received data in both written shape and the form of a figure (graph) or table.
The next point in this logical flow is the bibliography page. If you are one of those guys who create footnotes during the entire writing process, you will easily come up with your Reference page. Including this sort of information is easy when you have a sample of research paper Works Cites page. Your audience might be interested in reading the sources you used during the entire process to ensure in your words. Besides, the words of other people that are not correctly cited are considered plagiarism.
Check organizations once again. Make sure that the research paper is properly formatted. If you have any doubts regarding your research project, know that you can order a custom academic research paper from the top English writers here.