How to use a research paper sample to your advantage

Writing a research paper is a challenging task for many students. From choosing a topic and beginning the research process to writing the paper and documenting sources, students find the steps confusing and demanding. Many students have difficulty with the process because they have never written research papers and their teachers are reluctant to give them samples due to students’ tendencies to cheat. Fortunately, there are many research paper samples online that you can use to your advantage.

Find Examples at Colleges and Universities

When you begin searching for a sample paper, the best place to look is at public universities or colleges and their online writing labs. Many of these writing labs have samples of nearly every type of writing. You might not be able to find complete research papers, but you will be able to find enough samples to give you a good idea of what your paper should resemble.

Get Inspiration from the Introduction

Many students have difficulty beginning their research papers, so using a sample can help get the creative juices flowing. If you look at the topic of the sample and replace the specific words related to the original topic with words that are specific to your topic, you should be able to create an introduction that actually works. There is nothing wrong with using a research paper sample like a template - go sentence by sentence and word by word transforming the old research paper into your original, new research paper.

Sample Research Papers as Templates

Along with beginning the research paper, many students also have difficulty knowing where and how to include direct quotes. Using the sample as your template, you can see exactly where the original writer included quotes. You should also be able to see how the writer introduced and explained the significance of the quote. Then, you use the format of the original writer to direct your writing by rewriting the sentences using your research. Be aware of the punctuation because the original commas, semi-colons and end punctuation may not coordinate with your sentence structures.

Compare Your Works Cited Page

Finally, you can use the sample research paper to be sure you are properly documenting your sources. In the ‘old days’ students had to write their own works cited pages, but now there are several websites that will create the pages for you. With a research paper sample, you can compare the way the sources look with your sources. You can also check up on the sources like your teacher will do so you can see how that works, too.