Writing is a crucial skill in general and writing a research paper is not an easy task but rather a challenging one. We understand that most students have to write at least once before they graduate. In this guide, we have compiled and discussed some of the vital steps that you need to follow to make your research paper impactful and outstanding.
Given that most educators love giving mere prompts for you to build on, below are the most important steps that you should follow to end up with a well-written report.
Step 1: Familiarize with the assignment – it is sad to note that many students often ignore this obvious step and end up getting a lower grade. To be safe, take some time to go through the assignment. Digest the instructions given and take notes. If anything appears to be unclear, ask for clarification before you rush to settle on a topic.
Step 2: Select a topic – after understanding what is required of you now it is time to find and select a topic for your research paper. Well, many will be comfortable choosing a topic that they either love or are interested in/passionate about but you need to be careful to align this with the instructions provided. Sometimes it is be daring to go for controversial topics to provide your readers with an interesting twist.
Step 3: Research – as you expected, it is time you get dirty. Dig into all resources that you can find both online and offline to find credible information about your chosen topic. Just make sure to incorporate varying viewpoints and schools of thought when citing credible sources for your paper.
Step 4: Be organized – now that you have collected information from different sources, you need to organize them in a manner that they flow logically and make sense.
Step 5: Formulate your thesis statement – to help provide direction, state your working thesis statement for the research. When formulating one, remember to make it definitive, arguable, and specific. If you aren’t sure about it, consult with your academic advisor, mentor, professor, and even classmates just to check if the statement is powerful enough.
Step 6: Compose an outline – here you will be required to come up with a good structure for your research paper. Decide on its format, and embark on creating a working outline to help both you and your readers have an easy time navigating through your content.
Step 7: Write – at this stage, you have everything you need for your research paper and all you need to do is to sit down and write. Don’t worry about grammatical errors and typos now, focus on writing content mainly from your memory to avoid plagiarism issues and don’t shy away from citing important facts.
Step 8: Edit – now you should be having your first draft and since it has many red lines in it, you can now start by editing typos and other logical issues to make it flow better.
Step 9: Edit grammatical issues – here focus on fixing any apparent grammatical error that is in the paper for it to make sense.
Step 10: Proofread and submit – be analytical in fixing any existing issues by rereading the paper once more before you submit it.