Writing a research paper is something no college student can escape. It is therefore very important for every student to learn how to write it excellently. There is no doubt that writing a research piece is no mean task. That notwithstanding, if you are to get the basics right, you are good to go. In this piece, we discuss how to write a research paper in the most simple way.
What is a Research Paper?
A research paper entails more than just writing a long piece of essay containing cumbersome data and facts. Instead, it is a combination of in-depth research on a subject, critical thinking, fact-finding, and assessment results. Research paper comes in two types, Argumentative, and Analytical research.
In argumentative research, a writer takes a particular stance on a topic from the start of the writing. As such, he/she tries to persuade others into accepting that their argument is valid. This type of research best fits controversial subjects.
In analytical research, the writer asks critical questions without picking on a stance. However, after evaluating data and facts, he/she comes to a conclusion, which can be a new perspective on the topic.
Writing a Research Paper
The lengthy nature of a research paper can make it look unachievable and cause panic among first-timers. However, knowing what to do and when can make the writing process enjoyable. Here are some steps to follow when writing your paper.
The plan and preparatory stage are critical when writing a research paper. Before putting a pen on paper, you need to have a clear plan on what you want it to look like and the structure you want it to take. This helps you save time with a smooth writing process.
- Follow Instruction
Every institution or department has a format for writing a paper. Before you start working, get clear guidance on formatting your paper and even the choice of topic. Some tutors prefer assigning topics, while others allow you to choose your own topic, so knowing these requirements from the start puts you on the right path.
- Select a topic
Selecting a topic is one of the tricky yet essential aspects of writing a research paper. You can begin by listing potential topics. Afterward, narrow them down to the level of relevance and achievability. At this point, you need to consider the availability of research materials and their compatibility with your university’s guidelines. Don’t forget that the topic should be something you are interested in.
- Research the topic
After choosing a topic, your next job is to research extensively to getter all the necessary information needed for your piece. You can rely on current publications on your topic, scientific journals, books, and credible academic web sources like Google Scholar and SciSeek, among others. Visiting your school library and government/private agencies can help get the required information.
- Structure your work
All research papers follow a particular structure, but some can be ignored according to your aims and objectives. Your paper should start from an abstract, table of content, abbreviations meaning, introduction, literature review, methodology, objectives, discussion section, and conclusion.
- Cite your sources
To prevent being accused of plagiarism, it is best always to cite the sources you picked information. It doesn’t matter whether you are directly quoting or paraphrasing; always reference the original source. You may also want to know the referencing style of your department to avoid doing it wrongly.