The article provided through the courtesy of Isabelle Foster, an educational assistant and senior writer at PapersOwl. The author has a keen interest in Arts, Humanities, Psychology, and Music. She cannot imagine her life without teaching, charity, and writing.
Once you decide to enroll at college you should start preparing yourself for all the academic ordeals and challenges that are an integral part of college life. Students have to spend lots of time on lectures, seminars, and homework, of course. And undoubtedly, there will come a time in your academic career when you’ll be assigned a research paper. Creating a strong research paper requires the utmost diligence from students, but, at the same time, can become a fascinating journey into researching your topic of interest. Those learners who are inexperienced with research papers often find themselves confused and frustrated when they are first assigned this genre of writing, merely because they don’t know where to start from. But don’t get upset. There is an effective solution to this predicament, which is called practice. In today’s article, we’re going to share the important steps you should follow to ensure that your first research paper comes out well. What’s more, if you follow all the recommendations carefully, chances are not only will you impress your instructor with a perfect paper, but also get an intellectually rewarding experience.
First things first, you need to realize that a research paper differs greatly from other genres of writing you’ll encounter in college. It essentially serves as a culmination of your research work and evaluation of critical sources pertinent to the topic under investigation. Unlike an essay, which is arguably the most popular genre of academic writing, which relies heavily on the author’s personal position, a research paper is grounded in research and investigation. This means that your stance and opinion may change during the research process you explore, evaluate, and interpret the sources available for a certain topic. You should keep in mind that the interaction with authoritative sources is critical for the success of your work. Research papers are necessary to both further the knowledge in the existing field and help students develop and hone a wide variety of skills. So, take care to approach the writing process with care, diligence, and patience.
If no specific topic or prompt has been assigned to you, you’re free to come up with the topic that interests you or that you find challenging. At first, you may find it a bit stressful. But if you consult with your professor to figure out which topics are deemed worthy. It’s also a good idea to check out the list of the widely researched topics on your subject to choose your own. That being, said, you want to stay off of the beaten tracks and come up with something fresh and interesting to research.
To pick a topic faster, you can start with brainstorming, an effective technique which implies jotting down all the ideas that come to your mind without giving much consideration to logic, grammar, and sentence flow. The odds are good that once you verbalize your thoughts and see them on paper, you’ll be able to identify the desired topic or narrow down the existing one.
Lots of students ignore prewriting for no good reason. Lots of them are convinced that it takes too much valuable time and doesn’t aid the writing process. But truth is prewriting is an effective tool that helps you list the most important ideas quickly and succinctly without losing track of supporting evidence, quotes, facts, etc. During the prewriting process, you can formulate the thesis statement and see how it works in your paper. You can test the validity and strength of your arguments, hypotheses, and assumptions and adopt the writing strategy that will work the best for you. It’s a good idea to diagram or map your main arguments. The schematic representation of your thoughts can help you decide whether there is a need for more material or evidence in some places. Once you’re done with your rewriting, you can proceed to creating your first draft.