Next, you need to provide the background information, explain your goals, and how you plan to approach your research paper topic. You should finish your introduction with your thesis statement or research question. This section of your paper is not long so you are sure to finish it fast. How to Write Body Paragraphs Your outline will help you to complete this part of your paper. It may evolve and you are free to revise it and make changes.
The key thing is to stay on your track and focus on your thesis. You should provide your points and support your main idea. Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence and provide arguments and relevant evidence to support it. Consider the Rule of Three. Find supporting arguments for each point you make, and present a strong point first, followed by an even stronger one, and finish with your strongest point. Most research papers conclude with a restated thesis statement. Present your thesis again, but reword it.
Take a moment to explain why you believe those points support your case. If your research is inconclusive, take a moment to point out why you believe this topic bears further research.
This part of the process is about much more than just fixing typos and adding or subtracting commas. Developmental Edit Is your thesis statement clear and concise? Is your paper well-organized and does it flow from beginning to end with logical transitions? Go through and find the concepts the prof wants you to cover in the paper.
This prof is doing what profs do: pontificating. They are the prof telling you how to be impressive, clear, or to raise your grade through a demonstration of your wits and knowledge. This is your prof letting you know that. Second, go micro. Go through and underline actionable items. These are the items that must be included in the paper for you to get a good grade.
Usually they are very specific: Clearly, if your paper uses first-person pronouns, it will irk the person giving you the grade—probably best to stay away from that. Also, you should be using scholarly research, which means no random Googling and picking the first things you ping. Take a look at the first section of the assignment sheet.
See where the prof tells you exactly what your paper should be? This paper better be formatted in a particular way! Also, watch for specific requests about format changes and due dates. Circle them! But, you cannot use that as a final source. You can use general sources like Wikipedia to get familiar with a topic, find keywords that can further drive your research, and quickly understand large amounts of information. But, for the information you use in your paper, you have to find reliable resources.
Take what you have learned from a Google search or Wikipedia article and dig deeper. Check out the sources on the article, use keywords from your internet search to search an academic database, or ask an expert whether or not what you learned is valid and if it is, where you can find a reliable source stating the same thing.
So, just to be clear: you can use Wikipedia as a starting point in your research, but you should not cite Wikipedia as one of the primary sources for your research paper. You can find an article that says anything you want it to say. Are the spires on the Cinderella Castle at Disney World removable in case of a hurricane?
Did a cook attempt to assassinate George Washington by feeding him poisoned tomatoes? Just because you find one article stating that something is true, that does not necessarily mean it is a proven fact that you can use in your research.
Work to understand all of the different viewpoints and schools of thought on your topic. This can be done by reading a variety of articles, reading a book or article that gives an overview of the topic and incorporates different points of view, or talking to an expert who can explain the topic in depth. Step 4: Organize Your Research So you have all of this information, now what to do with it? Step four is all about getting organized.
Like research, different people have different preferences here. It can also depend on your assignment. If your teacher requires you to turn in a bibliography with your research paper think back to step 1; you ought to already know exactly what the assignment is by now! If you are just making one just for yourself, think about how you would like to organize your research. It might make sense to bookmark resources on your web browser or make a digital bibliography that allows you to link the resources you found.
You might prefer a printed list of your resources or you might want to write down all you have learned that is relevant to your project on notecards or sticky notes and organize your research paper on a table or the floor. A thesis is a short statement that you — as researcher and author — put forward for the readers of your paper as what you are trying to explain or prove.
A starting point when writing a thesis might be to write a one-sentence answer to the question: what is your paper about? The answer might be something like the following examples: My paper explains the relationship between dogs and humans. But, what is important to remember, is that this is just a starting point. A thesis needs to be definitive, and should not be about you. Many universities require freshmen students to live on campus for their first year, which keeps students out of trouble, helps students get better grades, and increases their likelihood of staying in school.
Can you see the differences between the first set of sentences and the second set of thesis statements? Any spelling or grammatical errors? Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? Did I avoid using contractions? Did I use third person as much as possible? Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader s at the end of the paper? For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr.
Note: William Strunk, Jr. The Elements of Style was first published in The MLA Handbook recommends that you type your last name just before the page number in case the pages get misplaced On page 4 of your essay, for example, your top right-hand corner should show: Jones 4 Page numbers must be written in Arabic numerals.
Do not add anything fancy to decorate a page number.The sky goes black, your breakfast turns to a brick in your stomach. A research paper? FIVE pages long? But not all of us are born gifted writers.
You should look for: incomplete sentences; easily confused words such as to, too, and two ; spelling mistakes; apostrophes for possessives and plurals; quotation rules obeyed; comma use; eliminate contractions. Here, we'll walk you through the most important aspects of making a paper, from beginning to end so you won't have to whip up a paper in an afternoon, plagiarize, or neglect to do the assignment. Because this is a research paper, your writing is meaningless without other sources to back it up. I can help you through it. Make that prof love you by following these directions. It is essential that you double-space between lines and quadruple-space between paragraphs.
It can also depend on your assignment. Any spelling or grammatical errors? If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e. There is no point in writing an entire essay about that obvious fact. The key thing is to stay on your track and focus on your thesis.
It might even be helpful to highlight and take notes on the assignment. This free website is a must-visit online resource when writing a college research paper. Second, go micro. Is your paper well-organized and does it flow from beginning to end with logical transitions?
And then, get back to work. Use the guidelines given by your instructor to help pick your paper topic. After you have worked to create a specific, arguable, definitive thesis statement, this is another place that it could be helpful to check in with your professor, a writing center tutor, or another trusted educator or mentor. The answer might be something like the following examples: My paper explains the relationship between dogs and humans. Any run-on or unfinished sentences?
There IS another tool you can use to keep track of your sources.
If you are just making one just for yourself, think about how you would like to organize your research.
If your teacher asked you to turn in an outline, be sure to make an outline that follows the example, guidelines, or requirements you have been given. All it takes is attention to detail—Microsoft Word has all the tools you need to score perfectly there. Everything you learn may be fascinating, but not all of it is going to be relevant to your paper. Do you have a clear, arguable thesis statement? Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? You can use the list of references to find books, articles, and other material that can help you find reliable, relevant primary sources for use in your research.
Simple as that. Proofread final paper carefully for spelling, punctuation, missing or duplicated words. If you need to take something out, what makes sense to cut and how can you re-organize your paper so that it maintains a strong structure? Each style has a different name for the list of sources you attach at the end of your paper, different rules about headers and page numbers, etc.