Many students find they are struggling to keep up with their schoolwork, and this is especially true in the time leading up to finals. This can be attributed to a number of factors, but one of the most common ones is that many don't know how to write properly.
Research paper writing seems like it would be easy enough-just read some books or articles on your topic and then summarize them in an essay-but this task can quickly become overwhelming when you're not entirely sure what you need for sources, which citation format you should use, or how to make sure everything's formatted correctly. It's also hard if you've never written a research paper before.
In its most basic form, a research paper is an essay that discusses the findings of someone else's research. Of course, there are some cases where you might be doing your own original research on some topic or phenomenon (for example, if you were conducting experiments in your lab), but otherwise, the standard definition is pretty accurate.
For some subjects, such as or history, the main texts aren't very difficult to come by-you could just read all of Shakespeare's works and know you have everything necessary for your research paper. However, since science is an empirical subject (that is, it relies on experiments and observations), there's a much higher barrier to entry in terms of what you need to know. You can't just read all of the articles published on a topic-you have to actually run the experiments yourself!
And for subjects like philosophy, where there aren't any hard and fast conclusions in observations or experiments, you'll probably need several different viewpoints in order to develop your ideas well. This means you'll probably need even more sources than you would for a science-based paper, since there's no one "right answer."
A research paper is very similar to a regular essay in terms of structure. There are three main parts: the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion/reference section. But how you put things together is very different from a regular essay.
In an essay, you might have one or two main ideas, and then several paragraphs dedicated to exploring each of them in detail. In a research paper, on the other hand, your "main idea" changes with each paragraph! Each paragraph should discuss a key point made by one of your sources. In order to make sure you link back to your sources as much as possible, it's important that the main part of each paragraph is a summary of what that source says and how they say it. For example:
The first body paragraph should basically be the same as the introductory paragraph-it just gives a more detailed overview of what you're going to discuss.
The word "main" is key here-each paragraph should have its own focus, but they should all be parts of a larger whole-the course of the research paper as a whole. This means that each body paragraph should build on what's come before it. You could use subheadings or dividers to make the paper easier to navigate, but it's important that your reader is never confused about where they are in the conversation.
The body paragraphs of a research paper each focus on one particular idea and show how it fits with your overall discussion. Each paragraph should summarize what one source says and then link it logically to your main topic.
The length of each body paragraph depends on what sorts of sources you're using and how complicated they are, but you'll probably have between three and five sentences per paragraph. For example:
This is a fairly straightforward paper-in fact, these paragraphs don't even need to be broken down into sentence form! But if you have a complicated source or more than one side of an argument to cover, you might need to use subheadings.
Just like in an essay, the last part of your research paper will be the conclusion and reference section. However, there are some differences here as well.
The conclusion should give a brief overview of the key points you've made and how they support your main thesis. Be careful not to simply summarize yourself – use this section as a chance to show that you have a good grasp of the wider context of your topic. If there's anything you said that didn't quite fit or any quotes from sources that don't get explicitly mentioned, this is your chance to tie them in.
The reference section is similar to the , but with a few key differences. The first difference is that you'll use different formatting. Make sure everything looks uniform!
The second difference is about how you organize things in an essay, the bibliography is usually in alphabetical order by last name, with "et al." used to refer to any writers whose work is part of a larger group.
You'll organize your references differently for a research paper! It's important that you use an organizational method that fits the style guide you're using-this information should be available from your professor.
Below are some tips that can help you , regardless of your experience level with this type of writing. These tips will work whether you're dealing with an argumentative research paper or a narrative one, and they'll be plenty useful for those students struggling to complete their coursework in the time allotted (or not allotted).
While researching your topic and writing your paper will be the most time-consuming aspects of this assignment, there's only one thing that really matters when it comes to getting a good grade on this project: cite all of your sources! Nothing-not even the greatest ideas or the most interesting topics-counts if you don't cite your sources. While this may sound like a horrible inconvenience and an unfair expectation, it will actually help you with several different aspects of the project.
Whether you're struggling to write research papers or just need some extra help with your coursework in general, your school's library is a great resource that can help you out. Many libraries have reference librarians who are happy to answer any questions you may have about your assignment as well as point you in the direction of helpful books and articles on your topic.
In addition to citing all of your sources, one of the best things you can do is read some of them! This not only helps you get a better handle on your topic, it also ensures that you've actually used all of the sources you cited in your paper. Skimming instead of reading can result in having to rewrite parts of your essay because you didn't know what you were talking about in the first place.
Outlining your paper will help you understand what thoughts and arguments you want to include, and it can also encourage you to cite all of your sources properly because this will help you flesh out the topic sentence of each paragraph. First write an outline and then write your paper according to this outline.
By staying organized, you'll ensure that you use all of your sources and cite them properly. You'll also ensure that your paper is structured in the way it should be-for example, if you need an paper with three main points and three supporting points, it's easier to stay on track if you write these out as headings.
There are some research paper assignments that don't have a time limit, but many do! Taking advantage of the time you have before your paper is due will help ensure that you work hard and stay organized. If you have a few weeks before your paper is due, focus on getting the introduction and conclusion done-this will ensure that your essay has a beginning and an end.
You probably won't be able to write a great first draft, but if you can get it down quickly, you'll have more time to edit it. Once you've finished writing your first draft, take a break for a few hours or even overnight if possible-then come back and look over what you've written. Ask yourself questions about the information you included and the way you organized your essay, then revise accordingly.
Your paper should be well-edited and free of typos before you hand it in, so be sure to take the time to edit every sentence. Editing is a very involving process that involves looking at your words from several different angles, so don't be afraid to get help from family or friends if need be.
After you edit your paper, show it to someone else-preferably someone who isn't familiar with the assignment. This person can give you objectivity and another perspective on what you've written.
No matter how well researched or edited your paper is, sometimes you'll get stuck and need help with the conclusions. This is OK, and you shouldn't feel bad about asking a research paper expert for clarification if you get confused while writing your paper.
Making a research paper is not an easy task, especially if you are new to this type of academic assignment. If you have never written one before, our online experts are here to help. Get professional assistance with your research papers right now! Our support service is available 24/7!
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