How to Write a Research Paper from Scratch?
All students, especially in tertiary education institutions, have come across a research paper assignment. It is usually a demanding piece of writing due to the amount of time needed to research and write it. Just going through a sample research paper is not enough. You should first know what this type of assignment entails.
What Is a Research Paper: Assignment Definition
So, what is a research paper? Think of it as some advanced kind of essay assignment. However, it differs from the conventional essay in that you are required to collect information about a thesis statement. Your write-up will be based on original research, analysis, and interpretation of your study’s results. It is usually done as a doctoral dissertation, a master’s thesis, or a term paper.
There are two types of research essays:
- Qualitative research essays. Here, you are supposed to explore a subject. This article aims to rely upon some information by explaining the motivations, reasons, and opinions that underly a particular problem. You should strive to unearth the current trends of ideas that intently interrogate a problem. This paper could provide a basis for qualitative research. The techniques for data collection in qualitative are not strictly structured.
- Quantitative research articles. The purpose of this essay is to quantify a problem by generating statistics around the issue. Therefore, you need to gather numerical data. The process is similar to qualitative research in that you are chiefly concerned with the opinions surrounding a topic. However, you quantify these opinions by giving them values. The numbers can then inform on facts and trends about the problem. The methods used to collect the data, in this case, are structured.
These two types can be categorized further into two groups—argumentative and analytical.
Argumentative Research Essay
Here, students decide on a clear position on a matter and support this with evidence. Hence, your thesis statement becomes the position and your paper the supporting information that adds substance to it. In a nutshell, tell your audience what you think, the background, and what are the facts that support this idea. Unlike an argumentative essay, this article needs to have a solid conclusion that you support throughout your writing.
Since you aim to convince your audience of your claims, also provide counter-arguments to them. Show the readers that your ideas were investigated.
Analytical Research Essay
Here, you should craft a thesis statement, gather supporting references, and investigate these sources to support the original ideas you have meticulously.
Your instructor would ideally have a topic for you to analyze. This usually is in the form of a question. Several keywords would be in the subject you are given:
- Compare—note the likeness and disparities between two conflicting or competing ideas.
- Discuss—delve into the details surrounding your topic. Examine the different ideas and issues.
- Evaluate—ascertain the significance of your ideas by using statistics drawn from the figures you have gathered in your study.
Now, these different forms of writing have been understood; it is time to delve into how to start a research paper.
How to Start a Research Paper from The Ground Up
Writing a research paper should commence after the research part has been done comprehensively. You cannot put the cart before the horse. In this case, too, you need first to do your study before you can document it. The initial stage is working on finding viable research paper topics. If your instructor has not provided one for you then:
- Revolve around what you find interesting for research paper ideas.
- Pick a couple and find if they have enough credible sources that you can use in your writing.
- Confer with your instructor so that they can approve one of your topics. You can also ask them to advise you on good research paper topics you can use.
Once you have a subject, the next step is to compile your sources. Remember, their credibility is of chief concern. Therefore, follow these guidelines for searching:
- Go to a library. Go through their catalog, periodical indexes, and bibliography that your instructor has suggested.
- Talk to a librarian to assist you in finding books, journals, and publications that are vital to your study.
- You can use the many online databases available.
- Google Scholar is a terrific place to get credible sources.
Take notes of what the sources inform you about the subject you have chosen. Once you have gathered enough material, it is time to work on your first draft. Assume that your research paper outline is the first draft. Ensure you organize your thoughts logically before you can begin writing. This organization is what your framework helps you achieve. At this stage, you have a chance to discard the unnecessary information from your study regardless of how interesting it may be.
A research paper outline example you can follow is first to pen your thesis statement. Afterward, interrogate the main points you have addressed. Also, how do they flow from the introduction to the conclusion of your article? Pen the points down in order. Have the supporting ideas written under each main one, in order as well. An excellent research paper outline template you can use is:
- Pen your topic.
- Why is this problem you want to address significant?
- What background is relevant to the problem?
- Pen down your thesis statement.
- What are the supporting points?
- What are the results of your study?
- What have you concluded?
- What can you recommend?
If you are satisfied with the outline you have created, it is time to handle how to write an introduction for a research paper.
How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper
A research paper introduction is what determines if your audience would continue reading the rest of your article. Have a strong statement that opens your study and captures the attention of the person reading. This section should provide a contextual background for your research. Elaborate on the purpose of the study and how you will approach answering the research question. Here, the type and category of the study should guide you. Conclude this section with your thesis statement. In short:
- Tell us the context by stating the core argument. We, your audience, need to make sense of this subject just in case we are hearing about it for the first time.
- So, why is your idea valuable? Make your audience care about reading your study. Make it compelling and clear to those reading it.
- What is the main argument? What position have you taken concerning the topic?
When you are done introducing your audience to your study, write the body. Employ the outline you developed to guide your research. Your essay needs to focus on the main points and not the sources. The references should only provide credibility to your ideas. Expound the ideas thoroughly as you flow from section to section.
Concluding the Study
Your conclusion should summarize the results of your study. You can have some call to action in this section of your paper. You should also give your recommendations at the end. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the abstract research paper section is done after everything else. The abstract is about 300 words, and it is like a compressed version of your entire study. Now, it might seem challenging to summarize your whole research to fit into a single page. Nevertheless, there is a tip to help you compact your paper. A research paper example of an excellent abstract should answer the following questions:
- What does your research aim to do?
- What issues have you studied?
- What design have you employed for your study?
- What results have come up from your study?
- What is your interpretation of the results?
- Finally, provide a summary of your conclusions.
Research Paper Citation Formats
Many academic institutions require this paper to be fulfilled in two referencing styles. Thus, it is vital to know how to develop your study in conformance with these styles.
An APA research paper format decides the tone, margins governing the page, the correct spacing, and the citation method. You require a title page that would have the essay title, the name of the author, the name of your educational institution, and the running head. For in-text citations, you need to write the last name of the author, a comma, then the year of publication. Enclose these details inside parentheses.
The last section in this format is the list of references. The order of the details from the source should be first, the surname of the author(s). Follow by the year when the literature was published, then its title. The city/location of the publishing house, along with their name. Separate these two with a comma. Finally, the source of the source, especially if it was from an online database.
An MLA research paper format a title page, but each page should have a header of the surname; then the page number flush with the right margin. As you write your paragraphs, make sure to indent the first line in each of them. In-text citations are written the same way as in APA, but there is no comma. When it comes to the last section—Works Cited—has its way of listing your sources. First, the order of writing them begins with the author then the name of the literature. Follow this with the names of other contributors, later the version and number of the research. Finally, the publishing house, date it was published and where this house is located.
Arrange your sources in alphabetical order. The page margins in this section are the same in the entire document—one inch away from the page’s edge. However, after the first line of each source, the rest are indented away from the left margin.
How to Do a Research Paper Brilliantly
You may have done impeccable research, and you have mastered the research paper format. However, if your writing skills are not up to par with what your instructors expect, you will not get the marks you deserve. Ergo, you should also know how to do a research paper excellently. So, how do you improve your writing skills?
It is crucial to get back to the basics of the English language to understand grammar fully. Grammar governs how we use English in communication. Your vocabulary is vital, as well. Broaden it by reading a lot of literature to learn new words. Your writing needs to be engaging, and the variety of the words you use can help you grab your audience’s attention.
Get Assistance Writing Through Impeccable Samples
When you are swamped by the sheer number of assignments you have to do, finding adequate time to do your research essay might not be feasible. Also, if you have a job and you are a student too, time to complete such an assignment would be elusive to find. Time is not the only constraint when it comes to doing a study. Writing skills and in-depth knowledge of your subject area is vital. You need to understand the topic you want to study comprehensively. This can be a tricky endeavor for students who find the subject of their writing complicated. A student who does not speak English natively would find the writing task challenging.
If you want to learn how to write a research paper, we have free samples to get you going. If the above situations sound familiar, then you can learn from our examples. Since they have been expertly written, you can gain vital knowledge of the format, referencing style, grammar, and appropriate diction. Thus, seemingly complicated tasks like crafting excellent college research paper topics become a bit easier to do. Access our website and save time through learning from exceptional examples today.