Additional Resources for Grants and Proposal Writing. Writing Personal Statements for Ph. Planning and Writing Research Papers. Writing Annotated Bibliographies. Creating Poster Presentations. Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper.
Writing a Review of Literature. U niversity of W isconsin —Madison. Hours Summer Term Chat with Us. Discovering, Narrowing, and Focusing a Researchable Topic Try to find a topic that truly interests you Try writing your way to a topic Talk with your course instructor and classmates about your topic Pose your topic as a question to be answered or a problem to be solved Finding, Selecting, and Reading Sources You will need to look at the following types of sources: library catalog, periodical indexes, bibliographies, suggestions from your instructor primary vs.
Why is it significant? What background material is relevant? What is my thesis or purpose statement? What organizational plan will best support my purpose? Include in your outline an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. You may create the first outline as a draft and edit it while writing a research paper. Introduction — State your thesis and purpose of your research paper clearly. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your issue.
Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Body — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Usually, the body comprises a literature review, methodology, analysis, results, and discussion. Summarize your arguments. Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion. Why your research is valuable and how acquired results can be used for future researches.
Still stuck with ideas on how to write an excellent outline? Let our writing partner help you. Order outline. Organize materials you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that information is factual, up-to-date, and correct. Opposing views should also be noted if they help support your thesis.
This is the most important stage in writing a research paper. You must also effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids.
Do not include any information that is not relevant to your issue under discussion, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible. Plagiarism is definitely out of question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you classify your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page.
Devise your own method to organize your materials. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you systematize your notes according to your outline. Research act in itself is a cumulative process. This means that one is expected to contribute something to the body of knowledge.
And because of this expectation, this is where literature review process becomes so helpful in narrowing down and also providing background information about the topic. No doubt doing a comprehensive literature review will save you time down the road by having clarity about the specific research questions that you want to explore. After conducting a thorough lit review, you now have at least a comprehensive background information and understanding of various contours and nuances of your topic.
Many of thesis questions that you may have already been answered, and you should have an idea as to where the gaps in knowledge are and what needs to be done to advance inquiry process and therefore contribute to the body on the topic that you have chosen. Research questions and research method that you will use to find answers are important because there are specific criteria that might be satisfied for them to be valid.
First, your research questions should be specific in scope and timeframe. In scientific research, for example, research questions lend themselves to being measurable using a wide variety of methodology, be they quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. If your research question, for example, pertains to how individual voters view women candidates for president, perhaps the best method is by doing field interviews or by conducting a phone survey of these voters using a random sampling method.
There are many ways that may help you derive answers to your questions. It is crucial, however, to be aware that each method has an inherent set of strengths and weaknesses. There exist various research paper methods that you may use while preparing information for your paper. Check the most popular methods and decide which suits you better:. While it is suitable for convenience sake, findings from a focus group method, however, might not necessarily be generalizable to overall population, because participants were selected somewhat arbitrarily.
A researcher can only make a valid conclusion or inference about their findings to the general population if everyone or every voter was given an equal chance to be chosen for the study in the form of random sampling. A note about replication: In writing the methods section of your research paper, it is crucial to be as precise and detailed about the methodology as possible.
Other researchers should replicate the method that you employed to see if they can come up with the same findings that you arrived with. Replication is a critical component in the process of validating results and strengthening body that we have accumulated on specific research topics. After collecting data via research methods part, it is time to make sense of information you have. Results, analysis, discussion, and conclusion section help provide a space for you, as researcher, to interpret findings of your study and juxtapose it with previous findings and potential implications for future research work.
Flow and organization are two of the most important elements of writing. This means that your research paper must be structured well in such a way that every content element or sections that you write contribute to an overall message or an overarching theme. Often, it is helpful to write a simple one-sentence thesis statement stating what your research is all about. As you write, thesis statement helps serve as a reminder and as a compass to what are you trying to achieve with research paper.
For it to be helpful, your outline should indicate the sections that you want to cover in the research paper. For each section, use some bullet point statements to guide and remind you what you should say or what ideas you should express in that particular section.
A good outline allows researcher to work in chunks especially when you have flow in your thinking , and it helps prevent you as a writer from getting overwhelmed by the whole task. It is highly recommended that researchers write in bursts of time, typically two to three hours at a time, to maximize energy and focus. Remember, as is true in any piece of writing, a good research paper is the one that is finished.
Perfection and procrastination are enemy of good in writing process. Start with the first topic in your research paper outline. Read all relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, example, with the Roman numeral I. Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, for example, write summaries, paraphrases or quotations on note cards, or separate sheets of lined paper.
Before you know it, you have a well-organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. After you have completed draft, it is worthy to remind everyone that a first draft is never perfect. You would go through at least three reviews and iterations making sure it follows thesis before it can be ready for submission. Consider asking somebody, a friend, or a professional to read your draft and help you identify some gaps or passages that reader has difficulty understanding.
Also, be sure you put the draft aside, get some fresh air or do something else for a few hours before going back and reading it again. Here are some useful tips that every student should follow while working on research paper draft. It is better to check all aspects twice and submit an excellent paper for grading. Read your paper for any content errors.
Double-check facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline format. Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes only a second pair of eyes is managed to see mistakes that you missed. There is also a particular formatting style you must follow. It depends on the field of your studies or requirements of your University supervisor.
There are several formatting styles typically used. Check informative style guides before completing formatting. APA American Psychological Association style is mostly used to cite sources within social sciences field. The most recent printed guide on it is MLA Handbook 8th ed.
Instead of providing individual recommendations for each publishing format printed, online, e-books, etc. Also, remember to use parenthetical citations for MLA research paper format correctly. Thanks to artificial intelligence-driven AI sites, copy editing is no longer such an expensive and onerous task.
And professional copy editing can be done free of charge with the set of tools that can be found online. Grammar checkers offer a chance to scan paper and find spelling mistakes, lexical or grammar issues. Plagiarism checkers provide excellent service such as text scan to make sure that your paper did not miss any crucial citation or did not fail to give credit to specific quotations and passages.
Plagiarism is a plague that must be avoided at all costs. Researchers must take great care in giving credit where credit is due. Doing otherwise may lead to not only failing grades but also ruined careers and reputations. Citation generators. Use it to transform one citation style to another. This is especially helpful if you are trying to submit your research report for peer-review or publication consideration with various publication outlets prescribing different citation styles.
Title page generators. A title page is the first thing your professor sees upon grading research paper. So, it should be formatted perfectly. Many college students find it difficult to memorize all indents, title case letters, and spaces that are specific for each standard. When you have a research report ready, it is time to submit it for publication consideration or for peer-review for a potential presentation at a conference.
It is important for researcher to read and follow carefully prescribed editorial guidelines of publication that you are submitting it to. Not following guidelines could prove detrimental — rejection of otherwise solid research work. Writing a research paper need not be a daunting and frustrating task. There is a set formula that a student or researcher follows to succeed with this scholarly endeavor.
The best place to start with this process is to think about the topics that you are passionate about. Being invested and motivated in subject goes a long way in producing a strong quality research paper. This process helps you narrow your scope and will help set you up for success in finding the niche contribution that you want to achieve in doing the research. Finally, it is important to create a guiding thesis statement and an outline where you may work in chunks without losing the big picture and with a clear understanding as to how each element of paper contributes to flow and a strong organization of your final document.
Worry no more! Get professional writing assistance from our partner. Click to learn more. STEP 1. How to start research topic? STEP 2. Find information STEP 3. Make your thesis statement STEP 4. Make research paper outline STEP 5. Oganize your notes STEP 6. Literature review STEP 7. The research question s STEP 8.
Research methodology STEP 9. Writing the results, analysis, discussion, and conclusion STEP The process of writing a research paper STEP Write your first draft STEP Tools for research paper help STEP Some words of encouragement. Place order 7 minutes. Busy at work, have a lot on your plate, in addition, your research paper is due? Outline and explain readers how you interpret research subject.
Tell readers what to expect from your paper. Answer the question you were asked. Present your claim which other people may want to dispute. Does my statement answer the question of my assignment? Is my statement precise enough? It should not be too general and vague.
Does the body of my paper support my thesis, or are they different things? Compare them and change if necessary. Remember that changing elements of your work in the process of writing and reviewing is normal. Can my position be disputed or opposed?
If not, maybe you have just provided a summary instead of creating an argument. Research Paper Outline Format. Example of an outline for a research paper:. Understanding the Internet A. What is the Internet 3. How to "Surf the Net" b. Accessing WWW. Keyword Internet search.
Use quotation marks on anything you copy exactly, so you can distinguish later between exact quotes and paraphrasing. You will still attribute information you have quoted or paraphrased. Some students use a particular index card method throughout the process of researching and writing that allows them great flexibility in organizing and re-organizing as well as in keeping track of sources; others color-code or otherwise identify groups of facts.
Use any method that works for you in later drafting your paper, but always start with good recordkeeping. Organizing: Mind map or outline Based on your preliminary reading, draw up a working mind map or outline. Include any important, interesting, or provocative points, including your own ideas about the topic.
A mind map is less linear and may even include questions you want to find answers to. Use the method that works best for you. The object is simply to group ideas in logically related groups. You may revise this mind map or outline at any time; it is much easier to reorganize a paper by crossing out or adding sections to a mind map or outline than it is to laboriously start over with the writing itself.
Formulating a thesis: Focus and craftsmanship Write a well defined, focused, three- to five-point thesis statement, but be prepared to revise it later if necessary. Take your time crafting this statement into one or two sentences, for it will control the direction and development of your entire paper. Researching: Facts and examples Now begin your heavy-duty research.
Try the internet, electronic databases, reference books, newspaper articles, and books for a balance of sources. For each source, write down on an index card or on a separate page of your notebook the publication information you will need for your works cited MLA or bibliography APA page. Write important points, details, and examples, always distinguishing between direct quotes and paraphrasing.
As you read, remember that an expert opinion is more valid than a general opinion, and for some topics in science and history, for example , more recent research may be more valuable than older research. Avoid relying too heavily on internet sources, which vary widely in quality and authority and sometimes even disappear before you can complete your paper. Never copy-and-paste from internet sources directly into any actual draft of your paper.
For more information on plagiarism, obtain from the Butte College Student Services office a copy of the college's policy on plagiarism, or attend the Critical Skills Plagiarism Workshop given each semester. Rethinking: Matching mind map and thesis After you have read deeply and gathered plenty of information, expand or revise your working mind map or outline by adding information, explanations, and examples.
Aim for balance in developing each of your main points they should be spelled out in your thesis statement. Return to the library for additional information if it is needed to evenly develop these points, or revise your thesis statement to better reflect what you have learned or the direction your paper seems to have taken. Drafting: Beginning in the middle Write the body of the paper, starting with the thesis statement and omitting for now the introduction unless you already know exactly how to begin, but few writers do.
Use supporting detail to logically and systematically validate your thesis statement. For now, omit the conclusion also. Revising: Organization and attribution Read, revise, and make sure that your ideas are clearly organized and that they support your thesis statement. Every single paragraph should have a single topic that is derived from the thesis statement.
If any paragraph does not, take it out, or revise your thesis if you think it is warranted. Check that you have quoted and paraphrased accurately, and that you have acknowledged your sources even for your paraphrasing. Every single idea that did not come to you as a personal epiphany or as a result of your own methodical reasoning should be attributed to its owner. Writing: Intro, conclusion, and citations Write the final draft.
Add a one-paragraph introduction and a one-paragraph conclusion. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. The pages in this section provide detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources. There will come a time in most students' careers when they are assigned a research paper.
Such an assignment often creates a great deal of unneeded anxiety in the student, which may result in procrastination and a feeling of confusion and inadequacy. This anxiety frequently stems from the fact that many students are unfamiliar and inexperienced with this genre of writing. Never fear—inexperience and unfamiliarity are situations you can change through practice!
Writing a research paper is an essential aspect of academics and should not be avoided on account of one's anxiety. In fact, the process of writing a research paper can be one of the more rewarding experiences one may encounter in academics.