Working on a Research Paper, Steps Involved


Working on a Research Paper, Steps Involved

A research paper is written based on information sourced from other authors. It is also regarded as term paper or analytical reports. In writing a research paper, you become the investigator. You are supposed to research an issue and give a report about it. The concept behind a research paper is to uncover facts related to an identified issue. It is recommended that individual opinion should be avoided when writing a research paper. The writer should avoid engaging any preconceived ideas about the research issue. Your engagement is to get in the field and uncover the truth based on facts.

The research paper is based on the presented picture after gathering some information. Your work is to organize the collected work to present a given picture. It is good to work on a research paper like a jigsaw puzzle. You are supposed to bring the pieces together and form a conclusion. Critical evaluation of an issue must be engaged. The writer should compare different perspectives to explain and present the issue. When writing a research paper it is good to keep an open mind. You are advised to follow the evidence and avoid judgments. In scientific research papers, the ultimate goal is to state facts. Here are some of the steps to follow when writing a research paper.

Research Image

  • Topic selection
  • Narrowing down the topic
  • Highlight the objective
  • List the preliminary bibliography
  • Develop an outline
  • Read and take notes
  • Structure the paper
  • Complete the first draft
  • Editing the paper
  • Write the final draft

Topic Selection

Topic selection is the first step in writing a research paper. You have to keep in mind the deadline of your research paper, the length, and the audience. It is good to conduct a preliminary search in the library before coming with a broad topic. It is easier to write a paper when adequate information is available. It is also easier to write on a topic that is of interest to you. However, it is good to avoid controversial or sensitive topics. This is because it may not have been written in previous works.

Narrowing Down the Topic

With adequate information, you always end up having a broad topic. The deadline, length, and structure of the paper will determine how much you narrow the topic. Reading through the different materials will give you an idea of how best to narrow the topic. Narrowing down requires that you understand the important people, the major issue affecting them, opinions from others, why the issue affects the people, how and when it affects them.

Highlight the Objective

You need to know the main focus of your paper. You have to write down what the paper is expected to achieve. The objective of the research paper will help you conduct adequate research. The objectives describe the viewpoint of the research paper. The objectives are also the controlling ideas of how the paper is written. They also control the materials sourced for and how they are discussed. Three to five objectives are enough to guide the research. Avoid having too many objectives. They could easily make you lose focus in your writing.

List the Preliminary Bibliography

Before conducting the research, there are different sources that will be consulted. It is important to come up with a list of these sources. The list guides the writer in understanding the potential information relevant for the paper. Some sources including abstracts, journal indexes, and bibliographies are important in guiding on where to search for the materials. However, all the materials have to be evaluated for relevance. They should relate to the given topic. Use of up-to-date information is also recommended.

Develop an Outline

An outline is important in identifying the structure of a research paper. The outline gives you a guide on the relevance of different materials. However, the outline can be reviewed several times depending on the availability of materials. This is why it is a good starting point when writing a research paper. All the topics of interest should be listed before being divided into subtopics within the outline. The research objectives are used to draft the outline. You can write some subtopics under each objective.

Read and Take Notes

Writing a research paper requires extensive research. This is why thorough reading is recommended. The reading should be focused on the different topics identified in the outline. When reading through, ensure you take notes. Each note taken should relate to the subtopics within the outline. Note cards are used to organize the notes for each topic. When taking notes, it is good to list the source of the information. This helps in the final write-up of the bibliography.

Structure the Paper

The final structure of a paper is also regarded as a reviewed outline. This is the final topics and subtopic which you decide to work on. The structure is also the organizational format which will be followed in writing the research paper. It is good to reflect on the highlighted objectives in structuring the paper. It allows you to present easy to read information for the reader.

Complete the First Draft

When you have the notes and the structure, now you can start writing the research paper. The first stage is to complete a first draft. This is a write-up which contains all the notes written under each of the respective topics. The importance of a first-draft is to guide you in revising the content. At this stage, spelling and punctuations are not very important. The relevance of the content under each heading is the most important. When writing the draft, it is also good to expand the ideas. The structure of the first draft should have the introduction, body, and conclusion. Within the introduction, the thesis should be clearly stated. The main ideas should also be presented to capture the interest of the reader. Using the collected information, the body of the paper can be completed. The collected information is used to discuss each subtopic. It is good to make sure that a footnote is written at the bottom of each page as a reference to the sources of the information. The conclusion part presents the summary of the content in the research paper. It should be ended by restating the thesis.

Editing the Paper

Editing is a part of the writing where corrections are done. The first draft will have many errors in the grammar as well as the content. However, particular focus should be on the content of the paper. The main question to be answered is on whether each of the topic sentences is presented well in a paragraph. You should also revise to check whether appropriate evidence is given to support the arguments. It is also good to check the transitions from a paragraph to the other. When revising, it is advisable to read aloud in order to easily identify the mistakes.

Write the Final Draft

The final draft is what you present for marking. It should be of a high quality to give you a good mark. The final draft should be set as per the expected standard. It should include the title page and the recommended style. The contents of the title page are well included in the instructions. A common title page includes the title of the paper, your name, course name, the name of the instructor, and the date completed. You should also check to see that you have met the expected word count. It is also good to check whether the recommended citation and referencing has been followed.

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