10 Things You Should Know Before Starting To Write Your Research Paper
There are many things that you will need to keep in mind as you compose your next research paper. Just as important as the actual research and writing however, is the planning. Having a solid, well thought out plan of attack will help you make the most efficient use of your time and talent. The finished assignment will be far better when time and effort have gone into a comprehensive outline.
Here are 10 tips to remember before you flip open your laptop, or put your pen to paper and get started on your next research paper:
- Know Your Topic
It is critical that you have a solid academic grounding in your field of study, and also the specific subject of your research paper. That said, you will find that researching and writing your piece will be infinitely more enjoyable if you are eager to learn more about the topic to be discussed. Don't pick a topic for your paper based on the fact that you already know everything about it! Pick one specific area of research that has piqued your curiosity, but is related to your previous expertise.
- Have An Extensive List Of Reputable Resources
Make sure that there is sufficient information available (and accessible!) to you that relates to your chosen topic. It is expected that your sources will be of the highest quality.
- Formulate Your Thesis
Carefully consider your position on the subject under discussion.
- Consider Your Approach
Decide the best way to defend your thesis. Think about what opponents to your position might have to say, and how you would go about countering their arguments.
- Put Together A Draft Outline
Begin to organize your thoughts, and the structure that you will use when you start the writing process. As with any academic paper, you must include a clear and concise introduction that leaves no doubt as to the direction the paper will take. Your supporting evidence will follow in the body paragraphs of the paper, and you must complete your piece with a convincing concluding paragraph.
- Organize Your Research And Notes
Now you have a basic idea of how you will present your ideas, decide which research and data support which points you will be making in your paper.
- Critically Analyze Your Thesis And Research
Give yourself a day or two not to think about the paper, and then go back and see if you have any new ideas to make it better.
- Set A Schedule
Decide the dates when you want to see certain tasks completed, and add them to your calendar.
- Consult With Your Course Supervisor
Make an appointment to see your instructor, and bring your outline, notes and best ideas to the table when you meet. Ask for feedback and suggestions.
- Finalize Your Outline
Taking into consideration any comments or ideas that your course adviser had, finalize your outline. Once it's been fine-tuned, you are ready to write!