How To Write A Research Paper Properly: 8 Professional Hints
Read five different how-to-guides and you’ll get five different instructions for writing a great research paper. This can be confusing at times, but luckily there are some standards that every professional writer will follow. Here are the eight most important:
- Choose a Topic
- Gather Information
- Write Your Thesis
- Make a Draft Outline
- Organize Your Notes
- Write a First Draft
- Revise Outline and Draft
- Write a Final Draft
The first step in writing a great research paper is choosing a topic. The best practice is to select a topic that you find challenging and interesting. Limit your focus so that you aren’t overwhelmed with too much information but not too narrow that you can’t find enough content.
There are many places where you can find great information for your research paper. We suggest starting with the internet to find general content. Then go to the library to get more in-depth information you can use as evidence towards your central argument.
Take your information and brainstorm some ideas for your thesis statement. It doesn’t have to be perfect at this point; you only need some idea so that you can help draft your outline and essentially take your content in one direction or another.
One of easiest draft outline formats to follow is the 5-paragraph. Simply it is arranged introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Depending on how long your assignment is you can have many more body paragraphs. The important part is that you devote each body paragraph to a single topic.
To make your writing easier you should organize according to how you have arranged your outline. This will help you reference your material as you follow your outline. A good idea is to put your information down on notecards, complete with bibliography information.
Write your first draft without stopping to correct any mistakes you make. It’s human tendency to stop and try to delete portions of writing that don’t make sense, but effective writing is usually done quickly and efficiently.
Now that you have a first draft with all of your ideas it’s time to start the revision stage. Start by revising your outline so that the second one can help guide your revised written draft. Look for ways to improve your research paper by cutting out material, rearranging it or adding new material.
You final research paper draft should be accurately typed and printed on quality paper. Proofread your final copy and make sure you don’t have any mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation. All those little mistakes could cost you more than a few letter grades.