How To Write A Good Research Paper – A Beginner’s Guide
It’s a beautiful day and you wake up feeling energized. After having a wonderful breakfast, you head to the college. Just as your class starts, you hear the teacher saying what you have dreaded since your very first day in college – a research paper due in two weeks.
Sounds scary, right?
But, it’s true!
Research Paper – the two words that can instantly cause anxiety among students.
Writing a research paper is probably the most daunting task in the life of college students, but one that they have to do in order to graduate. With only a few exceptions, students usually struggle with writing a research paper.
If you find yourself in the same trouble, do not panic because we have got you covered.
This blog discusses two options that are available to students when they are faced with the task of writing a research paper:
- Learn how to write a good research paper (what’s new in this, huh?)
- Outsource the task to a good essay writing service, like MeritEssays.
How to Write a Good Research Paper?
While there is no set of rules that one needs to follow in order to write a good research paper, following are some guidelines that can help you in the process:
- Understand the Requirements and Make a Schedule
Understanding your professor’s requirements should be the first step for writing a paper. There is nothing worse than spending many sleepless nights to finish the research paper before the due date only to find that you have not followed the instructions of your professor. To save yourself from the trouble of revising the paper, listen carefully to your professor when he/she is giving the instructions and ask questions if you have any doubts or confusion. Make sure you know:
- The length of the paper
- If there is any specific style of writing that you need to follow, for example argumentative, persuasive, compare and contrast etc.
- If there are any specific instructions regarding the number and types of sources
- Type of citation that your professor prefers
- Formatting details (spacing, font, referencing etc)
- Do you need to submit specific parts of the paper, such as research problem or literature review, on different due dates or you only need to submit once the paper is completed?
Once you understand all the requirements, set a detailed and realistic schedule and stick to it.
- Do Literature Review
Identify your area of interest and then review the literature that is available on that. Reviewing existing literature is critical to good research; it is not only required to find an original topic, but also to come up with valuable research.
- Find a Research Topic and Question(s)
Well, let us tell you, it is easier said than done!
If you already know what topic you are going to work on, then lucky you, because for many students, finding research essay topics turns out to be as long and difficult as the writing part.
While you can get a lot of ideas about topics if you search for research papers online, your goal is to find a research topic that is original and fits your research guidelines.
Now, you may wonder how is it possible to find a topic that no one has ever worked on.
When we talk about originality in research, it does not mean one has to come up with a novel topic that no one has ever worked on (its great if you can). Rather, it means identifying the gap in existing research on a particular topic and how your work is going to fill that gap. This is why literature review is extremely important before finalizing a topic.
The topic of the research paper has to be very specific – formulate specific research question(s) that your research is going to answer. Also, make sure to get your topic approved by your professor before proceeding.
- Research Your Topic
Once you have chosen the topic of your research and formulated research question(s), start researching on them. The topic and question(s) give direction to your literature review. Now you need to review the literature that is relevant to your research topic. This is a long process and the most intensive part of research paper writing process. Remember, the quality of your research paper depends upon this, so take your time to do in-depth research on your selected topic.
While researching, do not limit yourself to any one type of source; use as many sources as you can to collect data.
As you will find a lot of new information during this step, it is likely that you may want to modify your topic or change your research question(s), which is perfectly fine.
Always make notes while you are reviewing the literature and researching on your topic. No matter how intelligent you are, you will not remember everything that you are reading, so make sure to maintain records of all the useful information. Rather than copying from a book or an article, it is recommended to write down the important information in your own words. This helps to avoid plagiarism.
Also, make sure to note down the bibliographical information of every source. This will save you a lot of time as you won’t have to go back to each source while referencing.
- Write a Thesis Statement
Thesis statement is the answer to your research question. By the time you are done with literature review, you will have the answer to your research question.
- Prepare an Outline
After reviewing a wide range of literature, you may experience information overload. Research outline helps you to gather and channelize your thoughts. Collect all your notes and prepare a detailed research outline.
When you have organized all the research material and have prepared a detailed outline, start the writing process. Keep all your notes handy, but try to add your own thoughts and analysis in the research rather than just regurgitating the information you have collected. Cite all the sources as and when you use them.
Remember that you are going to write multiple drafts of the paper, so do not put yourself under excessive pressure while writing the first draft. However, be organized and proofread it before asking someone to review it.
If you find it extremely difficult to write a research paper or are stuck at any particular part, you can always take research paper help. MeritEssays is the best writing service that provides assignment help as well as allows you to buy term paper and order coursework. Whether you want us to write your complete research paper or need help in a specific section, stay assured that we provide you highest-quality and plagiarism free content.