How To Create Good Research Papers: A Practical Guide
While they aren't our most favourite of things, research papers are essential to academic life, and for how you will proceed with your future career. Here is a practical guide of things you will want to keep in mind so that you stay right on track.
The Start of Writing
To start off, do some general reading about your topic so you are informed about the information sources that are out there for you to use. This pre-research is essential so you don't end up with a fantastic idea and nowhere to go with it.
- Read several articles, journals, or other academic papers on your topic
- Try out several different ways of phrasing your thesis statement that will not be too confining
Clearing the Field
Now that you have had some time to look into it, clearly determine what your thesis statement will be. At the very least you should have a working thesis. This can always be tweaked later as you progress through your work. It will help you to work out a plan for where to focus your research in the beginning and cut down on wasting time.
Seek the Sources
Both secondary sources off of the internet and active methods of research will be needed to turn in a great paper. The internet will provide you with numerous options for sources that can be used in your citation section, and the discoveries you make fulfil the active requirement. Start off by looking in a general direction, and then slowly narrow your focus onto what is most parallel to your research.
Make it Into an Argument!
This cannot be stated strongly enough. You cannot simply skim through a couple of books and then rewrite them into your own words. You have to combine all of your research and skills into something that will make your thesis statement a well-written and well-supported argument. Look for ways that people could argue against your thesis statement, and interwine defences into your paper that will make them obsolete.
Make it Presentable
This is quite possibly the most important point to remember when putting together your work. When you are ready to hand in your culmination of months of work, don't make the mistake of leaving out the editing and proofreading step. You may find areas which are not as strong as they could be, or areas where the format doesn't flow. You need to opportunity to fix these mistakes and to correct silly grammatical or punctuation errors, that while simple, make your work look sloppy and badly put together.