Writing a research paper is a nightmare for every student or writer as it takes lots of effort, is time-consuming and drains your brain like nothing else. No matter how much we hate writing a research paper, we finally have to do it at some point of our graduation course or career. Apart from hating this task, many writers are unaware of how to write a research paper or consider it a difficult task. But once we write it, we realize that it’s a very useful activity which can leave us with a lot of information and an approach to research which is very helpful in practical life as well. We don’t deny it being a difficult task, but I will still ensure you that after reading this article, you’ll learn some easy tips to nail your research paper next time.
FIND AN INTERESTING TOPIC
Selecting a good and exciting topic is where you win half of your battle. The topic you select should be intriguing so that it can keep you intact and excited throughout your research and add value to those who will read your research. While you select the topic, go to answering some questions on why do you want to study the topic? Why will someone want to know about your topic? What difference will you add to the lives of readers? Answering these questions will guide you on the best topic to write on and from there, you can develop your research paper forward.
Make a concrete outline before starting your research paper as this will guide you throughout the study. Creating an outline will help you in two major ways. One, it will help you clarify your thought process and will guide you on which areas will be most relevant to the research paper. Once you have decided on the importance, you will know how much time each part will require and how should you schedule your work to avoid missing any timelines. Secondly, the outline also guides on what information you need to gather in order to add value to your write-up. It will organize your ideas and inform you on which ideas will best link to your topic and objective.
WRITE A PERFECT THESIS STATEMENT
The thesis statement is the aim of your research paper which you wish to establish through your research and analysis. This is the central idea to your paper and properly writing it and placing it in the right context is the key to success. Your audience will start with your thesis statement and will analyze your paper based on your thesis writing style. Therefore, keeping it specific, concrete, short and exciting will help you write a good research paper and will win the audience’s attention and establish the paper in the right way.
SELECT THE STYLE OF THE PAPER
Style of the paper will guide you on which method to choose in order to provide the paper a consistency with formatting and citing the sources. Style of the paper can be given to you by the professor, or you would have to select it yourself. Some of the famous writing styles are APA (American Psychological Association), Chicago Style, MLA (Modern Language Association), Columbia Style or Harvard Style. Your selection of style will decide on your method to citing the references, and therefore, this selection is important in the beginning.
FIND THE RIGHT SOURCES
The Internet has made our lives easy while writing a research paper. Previously, writing research will require the writer to spend sleepless nights in libraries in search of articles, books, and journals. With Google Scholar, it has now become quite easy to find the best literature in a matter of clicks and minimum of research.
But this doesn’t mean that the writer shouldn’t read the sources found. While using the internet to search for your literature and topic, it’s important to keep in mind some basics of a good source. An excellent source article, book or journal will be a one which is authentic, has a well-known writer and published by an official organization. Moreover, the source should be cited by others in the past too, which increases its credibility.
ANALYZE YOUR FINDINGS
By using primary and secondary sources, we gather data which is in its pure form. To make the best use of that raw data, a useful analysis should be done. Depending on the scope of the research paper, analysis can be done by some statistical methods or by your own thoughts and understandings. The analysis will be the point where you will explain your thesis statement in more detail and come to a conclusion to your hypothesis if any. If you had a hypothesis statement, the best way to analyze the findings is by statistical methods.
FORMATION OF THE CONCLUSION
After thesis statement, the conclusion will be the second most important part of your paper. Usually, the conclusion is read by the reader in the first instance after the thesis statement before starting to read the whole paper. If the thesis statement and conclusion are in perfect sync with each other and if the conclusion adds to the value to the research paper, you win the battle of ideas.
WRITING THE BIBLIOGRAPHY
The bibliography is the portion where the reader can check the sources whose work has been cited in the paper. Keeping the sources updated and in same referencing style is important. An excellent bibliography will add to the credibility of the research paper as the sources used to establish the point are cited perfectly.
BE COHERENT AND CONSISTENT
Throughout the research paper, one thing which is usually missed is the consistency. It’s important that your whole write-up is cohesive and coherent. The topic should be synced with your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should lead the way for your primary and secondary research. The analysis should build upon the data being collected by the literature review and present an appropriate conclusion to the study. The ideas used during the whole paper should be consistent to create an ease for the reader.