Writing a research paper is a daunting task. Picture this; you sit at your computer and think of the 5 page research paper that you should hand in i week or two, and since you think that the task ahead is difficult, you get the overwhelming urge to procrastinate by checking your email or social media.
How do you get focused?
The key is to start early,whether a beginner or an experienced writer, sometimes the hardest part of penning that research paper is just getting it started. Don’t be deluded that that’s all. Starting early is a good habit to cultivate in tandem with other tips. If you follow the following steps, you will not only write a better essay but also, you will write it faster.
Step 1: Go through the assignment’s guidelines
One of the early mistakes that you can make when working on a research paper is failure to understand the requirements of the assignment. This can make you go off on a tangent and hence, earn you a bad grade even after you put in a lot of work. As such, getting familiar with your assignment is the first thing to do. Consider it testing the water’s temperature with your toe before you wade in!
Step 2: Choose a Topic
Having read the guidelines, the next thing you need to do is pick a topic. If we are being very honest, it is easy to get stuck in this step as it can be daunting trying to settle on the perfect topic. However, do not allow yourself to get frustrated as you need not be an expert on the topic of choice as you are going to do the research. Instead, pick a topic that is interesting, engaging and one that fits your instructor’s guidelines. To make your work easier, ask yourself: are there enough related sources to help me write my paper?
Step 3: Define the Task and Develop the Questions
Once you have identified your topic, the best way to proceed is by defining the tasks and questions that you will base the research paper upon and allow the smooth flow of your ideas. You can do this through a breakdown of the topic and even, get one question that gives the general idea of your research paper’s focus.
Step 4: Do your Research and Organize It
Before you write, you need to get familiar with the topic and hence, do your research. Start your research online then move to the university/college library until you have gone through information pertaining your topic in an exhaustive manner.
Step 5: Create an Outline
An outline not only helps you figure out how to pace your paper but also, allows you to present your information in an organized manner. Hence, it should include the introduction, background, method (for experimental research), results or analysis (for experimental research), argument, discussion, conclusion and your sources formatted according to the guidelines’ referencing requirements.
Step 6: Writing your Paper
The key thing to writing your paper without plagiarising is to work from your ideas. The paper should be your own work that builds on the work of others without plagiarism. Get some writing help where and when you need it at this stage.
Step 7: Cite your Sources
When choosing your sources, avoid sites and sources that are edited by the public and those that do not have references for their information. Keep in mind that you have to cite all facts, figures, quotes, and any information that is not considered common knowledge.
Step 8: Evaluate your Work
At this stage, evaluation seeks to find out if you have established the flow of ideas, completed your analysis, told all the stories relevant to the research topic, and if the final paper is effective.
Step 9: Edit for Grammar and Content
Editing for content means ensuring that your content communicates the idea you had in mind, is clear and understandable and falls within the structure, length, wording and organization as recommended in the guidelines and as you put forth in your outline. On the other hand, editing for grammar using resources such as Gudwriter will help eliminate any grammatical mistakes you made during the writing process as well as eliminating instances of passive voice and overused words.
Step 10: Re-read
Finally, when you have done it all, take a step back. Leave the paper for a day even. Come back with fresh eyes and re-read it. This proofreading process is effective in making sure that the final paper has no mistakes or formatting issues.