Hope you find this article in advance of at least a month. But read it even when you’re two days close to the deadline. You will find general construction patterns common to research papers, thus avoiding blunt mistakes. However, your paper is unique and requires an individual approach, so don’t take the advice below as unquestionable rules. If you’re hesitating about some point, consult your professor and bookmark samples of research papers.
Analyze Your Assignment
We think that simple concepts are unworthy of our attention. But how we’re going to remember them when they’re put on the outsides of our memory?
Have a copy of the professor’s requirements at hand. Return each time you’re proceeding to the next step to aim your next move. At the end of writing, check if you meet all demands since they directly impact the evaluation of your project.
Settle Your Topic
When students take an issue out of the air, it turns out after some time they don’t want it so much. As a result, people toil over a despicable work or freeze the boiling analytical progress for the sake of changing the route.
A good hint would be to write a few curious topics and rehearse the data search. Most ideas will fall off automatically with two to three survivors to consider.
If you don’t know how to develop the thesis, you may use a mindmap. Walk from general down to specific: write your thesis and break it up into smaller questions that compose it. Keep branching and marking gaps you will fill with arguments and findings later.
Gather Reliable Data
Before conducting any experiment, you should take a closer look at the subject. Collective experience will preserve you from mistakes and give you mind food.
Primary and Secondary Sources
Use paper archives and online libraries. You may start from secondary sources—scientific journals and newspapers—to have an up-to-date view of the field you’re going to develop.
As you read, write down names and titles of works you find relatable to your research. Use Excel or another similar desk-like app you like, alternatively fill paper bibliography cards. That’s the easy way to collect primary sources for your evidence. Pile possible references in one place, you will organize them later.
A few hours of articles and one vague mental outline later, you can search for primary sources directly by keywords and authors. Focus on abstracts and summaries to find research that is useful for you. Then check the introduction, methods, and conclusion to clear the list of unnecessary papers.
After some space has been cleared, the next step is assessment. Find answers to the following questions for each work:
When was it published? Does it contain the latest scientific acquisitions?
Can you understand it?
Is the author accredited by a university, government, scientific community?
Does the author rely on trustworthy sources?
Does he or she present citations in their original context? Can you suspect biases, misinterpretations, emotional influence?
To make your life easier, highlight or copy-paste sentences you think would serve good as reasons. That’s why you needed Excel sheets and paper profiles. Next to it, mark an approximate place in your paper where it can enhance the persuasiveness of your view.
Make a First Outline
Should you create an outline before or after you write the first draft? It depends on your habits. If you feel more comfortable with all thoughts securely recorded, use a reverse outline—write the table of contents later. If you can’t start without a plan, make it in a regular fashion.
There is a description of blocks academic papers may or may not include. Pick only those parts that are required by the professor and the type of your research.
The purpose of a research paper.
Agenda, or sequence of narration.
Results, trends, blind spots;
Do NOT reiterate the whole study, focus on the introduction and conclusion.
Thesis, hypotheses, and questions to answer;
A few sentences about contributors, pros and cons of analytical methods, and sources of information;
Key arguments and evidence;
Results, fallacies in hypothesis and methods, prospects for future discoveries;
Do NOT copy-paste original paragraphs, choose other words to describe them.
The subject of your talk;
What gave you a push to disclose this issue;
What your research paper contributes to the net of existing knowledge.
Co-authors and contributors;
Sources where you’ve found data;
Methods you use in conducting an experiment and analyzing your findings;
Strong and weak sides of methods;
All new knowledge you’ve received in the outcome of an experiment or research;
Do NOT include opinions, assumptions, or explanations.
Comparison of existing studies;
The observational process which has led you to your results;
Reasons of why these results happened;
Your supported opinion with findings of accredited scientists;
Do NOT use other methods of influence except logic and facts;
Do NOT place too many quotes;
Do NOT summarize studies, use them to effectively support yours.
Summary of all findings and their estimation;
Advice to successors;
Questions that still require answers;
Do NOT include new information.
Include journals, websites, papers you used in the proper format.
To make edits extra effective, use the method of waves, or write—relax—write chain. You’ll have higher chances to find grammar, factual, and logical mistakes. Format your paper according to the rules and for the last time check the consistency with the instructor’s requirements.
Congratulations, you’ve completed the article easily with writing tips! Now, it’s time to return to your research paper assignment.