Compiling a good research paper can actually be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never written one. Most often the students make requests such as write my research paper leading to the first question that comes to our minds; how do you go about it? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start and complete a research paper.
Step 1: Writing a research paper by Selecting a Topic
Identify and develop a topic for your research paper. Since this is the first step in your writing, it’s imperative that you do it right from the start. The topic you choose should be within the parameters set by the project. The following are some tips for selecting a topic for research;
• Choose a topic within the established guidelines
In most cases, students are given clear instructions on what they can and cannot write on. Failure to follow these guidelines may lead to your research proposal being rejected.
• Select a topic you have interest in
This will provoke your interest and desire to research on it. You’ll find it more enjoyable working on a topic that you have a personal interest in.
• Be original
Your topic should be unique from your classmates and other previous research papers. Come up with an exciting but original topic.
• Choose a topic that you can access manageable amount of information on
You have to do a preliminary information search to determine whether the available sources will meet your research needs. If they are too little, then you may be forced to broaden the topic or drop it.
Step 2: Preliminary Search
As mentioned above, it’s essential to do a preliminary search to determine whether there is sufficient information out there for your research needs and for setting the contest of the research. You may have to visit your institution library or online sources for keywords in appropriate titles in dictionaries, encyclopedias, internet search engines and other reference collections. Refer to course textbooks, reserve readings and lecture notes for added background information.
Step 3: Locate your Sources
After establishing the direction of your search, you can now start locating the right materials for your selected topic. There are various places where you can look for information, including Aleph catalog for books, electronic periodicals for newspaper and magazine articles and search engines like Yahoo, Google, and others.
Step 4: Verify your Sources
You’re expected to deliver truthful, reliable and credible information in your research paper. This will start with your source being right as you will use them to support your argument. This is step is very significant, especially when you’re using online sources, which some are usually regarded as less reliable. You should drop those sources that are not credible or reliable for your research topic.
Step 5: Make Notes
Check your resources and note down the information that you think is useful in the research. Make sure to document all the sources that you consult, even if you may not use some of them in the study. You’ll need the source title, author, publisher, URL and other information when creating the list of reference or bibliography.
Step 6: Rough Draft
This is where you put down your ideas on the paper, without following any fashion or format. This step is essential in organizing ideas and determining the form the final paper will take. Make sure you revise your draft as many times as you deem fit to come up with a perfect final-write up that you will submit.
Step 7: Format your Paper
In this step, you need to transform your rough draft to a final write-up using the right format provided in the guideline. Ensure to include all the stated essential sections.
Step 8: Proofread:
The final step in writing a research paper is proofreading. Read through the text carefully, checking for errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, tense and plagiarism issues. Make sure you use the right citation and referencing style as per the formatting guideline. You may consult a third party to read through the paper to help you make the corrections, or consult grammar checker and plagiarism detective software.