Writing a research paper is one of the most common tasks students get. Writing a research paper comes with responsibility, but also with stress and anxiety. A research paper is not just an essay, but a good method to get hands-on experience with conducting a study and expose your critical opinion on the findings.
A research paper has a clear structure you need to follow, and this structure is usually shared in the requirements. Many students struggle with writing a summary, but the entire research paper can be challenging.
So, which are the steps for writing a research paper?
1. Choose Your Topic
To write their research paper, many students ask teachers for help and coordination. Some teachers make topic suggestions, while others allow students to freely choose the topic. Choosing the topic you will do your research on is important and not an easy task.
You should aim to choose something you find interesting so that you will keep your motivation levels high. At the same time, a topic you love will allow you to be original and creative, which is something you probably aim for.
Choosing the topic of your research paper can be a challenging process. Take it to step by step and identify the subjects that catch your attention the most. Also, always think ahead and imagine how you will conduct your research on that topic.
2. Good Research
Before you start writing your research paper, you need to look for more information on the topic. You should not underestimate the power of good research. It can open new doors and enlarge your horizon. Good research also helps you support your points of view and hypothesis with validated arguments. You can also get new ideas on how to conduct or structure your research paper. Of course, if you need research paper writing help, some professional writers can support you in this process.
3. Hypothesis and Research Questions
Every research paper should have some hypothesis or research questions. These are mandatory and without them, your paper will lose value. You write it and conduct your research to prove something, and this something is your hypothesis.
After you have done your research, you probably have enough information to form your hypothesis or research questions. There could be some specific factors you will look into. There could be processes you need to investigate. Either way, it is important to form an accurate hypothesis as it will guide your next chapters.
4. Always Make an Outline
Research papers are more complex than essays and assignments. It takes some time to write a research paper and this is because you have to discuss and expose a lot of ideas and arguments. Things can get confusing at times, especially when you interact with so much new information and knowledge.
It is therefore important to always have an outline. Write a few ideas about the topics you will discuss in each part of the research paper.
The outline of a research paper should include an introduction, where you briefly expose your chosen topic and hypothesis. The next section, literature review, should present all the evidence and facts that support your research question or hypothesis. There should be exactly those findings that led you to believe that your hypothesis is true. The next one in line is methodology. Here you should describe the entire research process and offer information about the participants, tools, and measuring options you have used.
The next two sections are Findings/Results and Discussion/Conclusion. You should share the result of your research in the findings section and then discuss their implications in the conclusion section.
5. Start Writing and Editing
It would be an unreal expectation to think that you can write a perfect research paper from the very first time. But after you have organized the information, made your outline, and gained more knowledge on the subject, all you need is to start writing.
Do not forget about editing and proofreading your research paper. It’s a plus if it is free of grammar and spelling mistakes.
Writing a research paper can be an overwhelming process. However, if you follow these simple five steps, you can easily manage the project and organize your time. Make sure you get a good command of the topic through research and expose ideas in a clear, logical, and structured way.