Are you looking at a blank page and have no idea how you should start your research paper? The truth is that research papers are time-consuming and complex assignments, and they make a large part of the student’s grade. As you know, academic writing is difficult, but written communication skills are important for your success in college, future career, and even graduate school. Therefore, you should master the art of writing research papers. If you are not sure where to start, these are effective strategies that will make writing a research paper a painless process.
Choose a Topic
Usually, college students get assigned to research paper topics. If you are fortunate enough, you should choose your topic wisely. Start by choosing a topic that is challenging, but you have an interest in it. In this way, you will not get bored when doing your paper as you will discover something new and even enjoy the writing process. Avoid choosing subjects that are too general or technical. If the topic is broad, you may be unsuccessful in writing your research paper, as it will look to be a general overview. Instead, you should narrow down to a given aspect, idea, or concept, and make it manageable and specific.
Write a Working Thesis Statement
You need to prepare a working thesis before organizing your research. That is because it will guide your investigation and help you to stay focused on the subject. Also, your thesis statement ought to be concise and reflect the type of paper you want to write. Research papers can be classified as argumentative, expository, or analytical. You should take adequate time to come up with a good thesis statement. Ensure your thesis is narrow and debatable because your claims ought to be supported by evidence.
Do Research On Your Topic
You need to find adequate primary and secondary sources on the subject of the paper. Start by carefully reading all of them and finding relevant evidence that can support your thesis. At this particular stage, you ought to evaluate your sources and start documenting them to the required style. Ensure you use the last edition of the specific style guide.
Make a Good Outline
Maybe your research has given you a lot of great ideas. Now you need to organize them to have an impressive presentation. Do not skip this particular step because, without it, your research paper will lack focus and may need a lot of time for revision.