During your time in college, you will be expected to write at least one research paper as a requirement for your degree program. Most students find research papers frustrating because they don’t understand the steps involved. While the assignment may seem somewhat complex, it is a way to show your professor that you can apply the course concepts and critique knowledge in your field.
Don’t stress is you have no clue how to create an impressive research paper. This article walks you through the process of creating exciting and well-edited research papers.
- Familiarize Yourself With the Assignment
The first step for any academic project is to understand what the professor is asking you for. Each task comes with a set of instructions, and failure to understand them means that you risk getting a low grade. Ensure you know precisely what you are expected to accomplish, including the number of pages, the formatting requirement, and the number of sources to use.
Highlight keywords and phrases as you go through the prompt. If you are unsure what the requirements mean or if some elements of your project seem ambiguous, ask your professor to clarify.
- Choose a Good Topic
Once you know what you are expected to accomplish, it is time to decide what to write about. Often, instructors provide topics for their students to choose from. This makes work more straightforward but can also restrict your creativity. Whatever the case, make sure you adhere to the instructions provided.
That said, most professors give students room to choose their own topics. The topic selection process may seem daunting but provides an opportunity to pick issues that genuinely interest you.
Consider the interests of your audience as you consider topics. Also, make sure that your preferred subject is relevant to the instructions and has enough information to support your arguments. Finally, narrow down your case to make sure that the issues can be covered adequately within the scope of your research capstone paper.
- Create an Outline
Another step in creating a spectacular research paper is outlining. Write down everything you know once you have a topic and use the notes to produce an outline.
Outlining directs your research, ensuring that you stay within the project’s scope and answer all assignment questions. Understand that a good outline is flexible and may change as you gather information on the subject.
- Research Widely
At the heart of any academic project is research. You may have heard that students should present their original ideas and arguments when working on tasks. That said, the core of academic writing is an ability to contextualize ideas and arguments in established knowledge and principles.
Consult electronic databases to find credible and peer-reviewed journals for your document. Use a variety of sources, including books, reliable websites, and government publications. Take notes, using the outline to inform the research process. You can then organize your findings in readiness for the writing process.
Remember to skim carefully and don’t waste time. Skimming is crucial since you don’t have to read all the documents you use for your research. Perusing through allows you to get only the information you need for your topic. With some practice, you can master the art of identifying key points and arguments.
- Write Your Paper
Once you have organized your research findings, it is time to start working on your first draft. If you have spent some time planning, the writing process should flow relatively smoothly. As you write your initial copy, don’t spend your time stressing about typos and grammar consistencies. The best writers know that it is a good idea to write their papers first and edit later. Write quality content first, then revise the document for perfection.
Use your outline to organize the paper, making sure that there is a clear introduction and conclusion. Then, work with your ideas, only using evidence and examples to improve the quality of your arguments.
Remember, colleges detest and punish plagiarism. This means that you ought to cite all the sources you consult when writing your paper.
- Edit and Proofread Your Paper
Now that you have worked hard and created a good paper, it is time to revise the writing and eliminate mistakes. Typos and misspellings can distort your message and compromise the quality of your document. Spend some time reading through the research paper, correcting formatting, citation, and grammar mistakes. Make sure your article answers all the assignment questions.
Writing a good college research paper requires planning and careful time management. Choose an interesting topic and create an outline before you start writing. Most importantly, edit and proofread your document before sending it to your professor.