Writing Techniques for Creating a Solid Academic Research Paper
Writing a research paper can become easier for you if you follow the simple guidelines given before. This is not an exhaustive handbook on research paper writing. Your college or school provides you with instructions on the format and requirements.
- Select a dynamic topic: The most important aspect of a research paper-writing project is the topic selection. If the direction to write on a specific topic does not restrict you, you can choose a great one yourself. For a topic to be truly good, it should be one that challenges and interest you. Your passion should be the first consideration while choosing a topic. The next thing is its agreeability. A topic becomes interesting for a reader if it is vastly debatable. The third consideration is its relevance and usefulness in your field of study. A current, arguable, and useful topic that interests you deeply is the topic you should choose for your paper.
- Develop a thesis statement: Now that you know what you want to write about, create a one-sentence statement expressing your position on it. This sentence is the gist of your research paper. It should clearly say what you want to say and how you are going to prove it or work on investigating it.
- Do a systematic research: Researching the topic according to your thesis is best done in some order. Make a list of resources you are going to use. For example, the campus library, online digital databases, academic journals etc. Go through theses one by one.
- Create and do surveys as soon as possible (if needed): If you intend to provide survey-based evidence, start now. Making, distributing and receiving responses on your survey will take more time than you expect.
- Make copious notes: Do not rely on memory for providing you with the write quotations and references. Make notes of all the relevant evidence and data you are collecting. Do not forget to write down the sources of evidence. Your notes and data will become next to useless if you miss the source.
- Organize your notes: After completing the research work, organize your data in chronological order. Highlight or underline. Make numbered lists. Do whatever works for you to organize your notes and data.
- Make an outline: make an outline on the prescribed format. List what you are going to write under each heading. You should have some major points and three supporting points along with evidence in each paragraph. Write down the sentences you will use at transitions from paragraph to paragraph.
- Write your research paper:
- a) Introduction: Your introduction starts with your thesis statement and goes on to describe what you are going to do to support your thesis. Write the most important aspects first. Introduce your work and your sources. Mention the limitations of your research.
- b) Language: Be careful with the language. Formal academic language without extraneous words and phrases (such as “it can be said” and “in conclusion”) works best.
- c) Tone: Maintain your tone throughout the paper. Do not jump from terse to emotional to flat from paragraph to paragraph.
- d) Style: Your writing style should be consistent. The choice of words and presentation of evidence as well as the conclusion should sound like one person: you!
- e) Proofreading: Revise and check your paper for mistakes of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. This is a step you skip at your peril. A very well researched and convincing research paper can lose all its might in this last bit of carelessness.