What are the common research paper writing techniques?
Most research paper writers follow some simple stages in writing their papers.
We’ve outlined them here for you:
- Choosing a topic.
Before you do anything else, you’ll need to choose a general topic for your research paper. To choose a topic, think of those that interest you, and then pick one that meets the following requirements:
- Relates to your class/is approved by your instructor.
- Is researchable.
This may seem quite obvious, but many students get their hearts set on a completely inappropriate topic, only to be flabbergasted when their instructor shoots it down.
The second requirement is that there be a body of work which you can research that relates to the topic. You want something unique, certainly, but not so unique that you can’t find any sources related to it. If you choose something too obscure, you’ll have far too much difficulty in writing your paper.
Now that you have a general topic with which to work, you need to craft a thesis statement that you can defend.
Here are the requirements for your thesis statement:
- Neither too broad nor too narrow
- Contains an idea which you can defend.
This requirement will depend somewhat on the page length requested by your instructor, as well as their own personal expectations.
Your thesis shouldn’t be simply descriptive; it needs to contain a controversial statement which you are able to cite sources in order to defend.
As you research ideas to defend your thesis statement, you’ll need to identify several separate points which you can expand upon. Create a category in your notes file for each of these points.
Once you’ve concluded with research, create an outline of your research paper, with one section for each of your supporting ideas. In your outline, note how you will transition from one idea to another, as well as the sources you will use.
Using your outline as a roadmap of your essay, write the rough draft. Reference your outline so that you can include each source in the appropriate section. For the rough draft, don’t worry too much about writing style, just focus on getting all of the informative content in.
Now that you’ve completed your rough draft, edit and polish your essay, making sure that it flows well and is free of mistakes.