A paper is written with a general intention of conveying or expressing a certain idea. Research papers are written for the same except they are written in depth about the topic of research.
It is a piece of academic writing which should carry the author’s original ideas and points of investigation. The findings are usually supported with examples, illustrations, and other valid evidence. These works are usually submitted to an educational institution for grades or for publication in academic journals, or as a book by academic publishers.
Usually, longer than an essay, they provide in-depth details regarding a topic through different sections like a review, methodology, discussion, and conclusion. Depending on the area of research, the style of paper presentation differs, as in, a research paper written by a humanities scholar is different from that written by a science scholar.
The most popular styles used are MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association). Chicago manual style is also used in academic writing.
Before we start with the methods to write a research paper, we need to familiarize ourselves with a few technical terms such as scholar, blind peer reviewing, honor code, and plagiarism.
A scholar is a person who is writing or presenting a paper that shows the results of their research. They could be a student or even a professor looking for the options for further studies.
When we submit a paper for publication, it undergoes a check by some authorities or personnel who verify whether the paper you presented is worth publishing or not. They may not know the author of the work, but they are expected to present an unbiased checking of your paper.
This process is called ‘blind peer reviewing’ because the person who verifies your paper does not know your details and vice versa.
An honor code is an oath of sorts that is taken by any student who enters academics in universities regarding the authenticity of their works and them being plagiarism free. It is an agreement that is signed and is mandatory in many universities across the United States.
Plagiarism is the copying or stealing of another person’s ideas or words. It includes the use of other words and not acknowledging the source. It is a breach of academic integrity and ethical behavior. In simple words, if you use somebody else’s words and pass its own as one’s own, you are plagiarizing.
How to attempt a research paper:
- Select a topic: a topic that you feel challenging will motivate you into further studies. Your interest is an essential factor for the successful completion of the paper. You may take help from your professors regarding the suggestion that could be investigated.
- Finding information: hit the internet. Look into all possible sources to obtain ideas that can be brainstormed upon. Use encyclopedias, or search engines that appear in your fingertips but make sure you are carrying reliable information. Newspapers and public libraries are also reliable sources that can provide accurate information.
- Make thesis statements: a thesis statement is a sentence or group of sentences that carry the central theme of the paper. There are no fixed rules regarding the use of thesis statements in research writing, but many prefer the usage in paragraphs to never the contents easily. A thesis along with five to ten sentences can be a paragraph.
- Make an outline: a title, abstract, introduction, body, references, appendix, and a proper conclusion is the simplest layout of the paper. A typically seen outline that can be subjected to further changes. The purpose is to logically sequence the project which makes it easier to work upon later.
- Organize: now that we have adequate information, its tie we sort it according to our outline. Each topic can have various sub-topics which will serve the purpose of minute details in writing an in-depth article. Do not include information that you are not sure is accurate, also do not include misleading information.
- Start writing the draft: begin with the help of your outline. Quote or paraphrase the ideas the ideas you plan to include in your paper. Segment your information according to the outline and give words to your ideas.
- Revise and improvise: go through your draft again for spell check, grammar, and vocabulary. It is always better to run your work through a final check before you submit it for further evaluation. Cross check the facts and figures again.
- Typing the final paper: most reports are typed and printed with good quality materials. Read it again for catering perfectly to what is expected of you. Proofread for errors and unnecessary details that have come into the work during the initial phase. Ensure the cleanliness, order, and perfection of the paper.
There are a few things that a person who is interested in submitting a research paper should always remember:
- Plagiarism is out of the question: plagiarizing is purely a crime and a punishable offense. It is stealing and is considered as unethical and a breach of rights of an individual.
- Design a paper with an idea: always carry an idea of how your paper should look after the completion. Determine the flow of words and then give it an expression through your writings.
- Picking the right audience: the audience plays an essential role in the success of a project. The topic chosen by you should be addressed to the right set of audience for it to be accepted in the way you want it to be accepted.
- Logic is important: a sound and clear logic are fundamental to a good study. All the details are to be put forth in a logical sequence of order and this will produce a more effective paper.
- Completion is mandatory: a lousy paper shows a lazy writer. Completion is the ultimate aim of the project. The hypothesis should be put forth with detailed data to support your points and a conclusion is necessary to show the completion.
- Concision matters: simplicity is the easiest way to get into the minds of the readers. There is nothing that can replace simple words and short, crisp points. Long and dragged essays are the audience’s least favorite
- Use artistic skills: make it enjoyable as far as possible. A paper that is written in simplicity can touch the readers and connect with them easily. Concentrate on the use of vocabulary that suits any category of readers and yet not compromise on spellings and grammar.
- Be your harshest critic: no matter how many rounds of revision is done, it still makes us feel inadequate at some point, so utilize your critical analysis skills to evaluate it from the point of view of another person and this can help in assessment.
- Use other’ time and opinion: an external factor can always help with more perfection. So take the help of a friend or a person at home to read your work and assess it with the harshest of criticism. Don’t get offended in writing parts again, this will only add to the betterment of the paper.