Choosing a topic
The obvious first step would involve selecting the ideal and relevant topic for the course you are undertaking. Some colleges assign students with predetermined topics saving them the time to debate amongst several favorite topics within the class. Other students are not so lucky. If you find yourself in this category, make sure you choose a topic that is not too technical that it stresses you with extensive research and methodology explanations. Also, take note not to pick too general a topic that lecturers view you to be disinterested and avoiding adequate research on the subjects taught in class.
Organize and prepare a working thesis for your paper
Developing a thesis helps you organize your thoughts and research process before you commence writing your essay. It will enable you to save time as you will know precisely what you want to support or prove with your paper, and that will guide your research sources and presentation process.
Ordinarily, research papers are divided into;
- Argumentative research papers that intend to prove certain concepts or ideas.
- Expository papers that explain and give information on a particular topic
- Analytical essays that analyze theories presented by other writers.
Research on your topic
After organizing yourself, it is time to find adequate primary and secondary sources of information for your topic. Carefully document all credible sources of information that contain what you wish to express and include them in your paper according to the citation requirements of your tutors
Ensure you correctly cite using the latest edition of a style guide. Make sure you cite all your sources to avoid plagiarism on your content.
Create a good outline
By now, your research has given you many great ideas. Now you only need to organize them to create an impressive presentation. This is a vital step because, without it, your project will not have a focus.You need to create a working outline, and that will serve you as a roadmap for your paper.
The most common inclusions in a research paper outline are as follows
- a title page that carefully states the topic being explored;
- an abstract that provides necessary background information on the topic and the reasons for its choice;
- an introduction explaining the topic in detail;
- a methodology or procedure section describing how data was collected and why;
- findings/results of the research procedure;
- discussion explaining what the findings mean;
- A conclusion that states the outcome or deduction of the research.
Write the first draft of your research paper
According to the outline you have, procedurally compile the information you found in your research and express the processes you underwent during your study and, finally, the conclusion you wish to communicate using your paper.
Write the final draft This is the last step that involves proofreading, recalculating, and correcting the first draft of your paper. It also requires adequate formatting and general preparation of how your paper will look to your instructor. The final draft of a research paper is usually the most straightforward part of the task when all the initial steps are well taken.