If you’re a college student, you will probably have to write at least one college-level research paper before you graduate. Writing a good research paper can be daunting if you have never done it before. We’re here to help.
We’ll break down the writing process into easy steps to help you understand how to write a research paper fast no matter how long it must be.
Step 1. Choose a Topic
Sometimes college students are assigned with their research paper topics, but if you are fortunate enough to have such an option, choose your topic wisely. First of all, think about choosing a challenging topic you are interested in.
Use the guidelines given by your instructor to help pick your paper topic. It will be easier on you in the long run to write about a topic that fits the assignment. It’s important to be engaged in the topic you’re writing about it, but you don’t have to love it. It’s also good to realize that you can use this research writing assignment as an opportunity to learn about something new.
Gather resource materials and begin reviewing them. As you read and evaluate the information you discover, take notes. Keep track of your reference materials so you can cite them and build your bibliography later.
Step 2. Write a Working Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes the main point of your essay and previews your supporting points. The thesis statement is important because it guides your readers from the beginning of your essay by telling them the main idea and supporting points of your essay.
You have to devote enough of your precious time to creating a good strong thesis statement so that your project has a clear purpose. Your thesis should be debatable and narrow because your claims should be supported by evidence.
Step 3. Do Research on Your Topic
You should find enough secondary and primary credible sources on the subject of your paper, carefully read all of them, and find relevant evidence to support your thesis. At this stage, you should evaluate your sources, take notes, and start documenting your sources according to a citation style specified by your instructor.
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.
Step 4. Make a Good Outline
An outline will help you organize your thoughts before you dig into the writing process. Once you’ve developed your thesis statement, think about the main points you’ll need to present to support that statement. Those main points are your sub-headings. Now, organize your thoughts and information under each sub-heading.
Think about key points that you’ll need to develop to support your thesis statement. You can use them as subheadings for the body of your paper. Look through your notes and organize the information under each sub-heading.
Step 5. Writing the Research Paper
A starting point when writing a thesis might be to write a one-sentence answer to the question: what is your paper about?
You should list the keywords that present the topic of your paper, methods you used, and results that you achieved. Now create a sentence that includes all the keywords that you have listed and delete the unnecessary words.
Afterwards, you need to write an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. These are the main parts of your paper so let us provide you with some details on how to do it right.
1 The Introduction
Here’s where you present the background and context for the rest of your article. Craft a strong opening sentence that will engage the reader. Just because you’re writing an academic research paper doesn’t mean you have to be dry and boring.
2 The Body.
Your outline will help you to complete this part of your paper. But you shouldn’t think that you must strictly follow it. 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. You should write as many body paragraphs as you have the key points.
Now, it’s time to wrap it up. Most research papers conclude with a restated thesis statement. Present your thesis again, but reword it. Briefly summarize the points you’ve made. 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.
Step 6. Edit for Content
You still need to edit your paper before it’s ready to turn in.
Start by editing for content. This means thinking about structure, organization, wording, and length. You carefully organized your paper when you created an outline. Look carefully at how you’ve worded your sentences.
The next stage is editing. You have to check and eliminate filler words and phrases, improve word choice, and correct mistakes in punctuation and grammar if you find any.