Helpful tips for writing a research paper in college
It’s no secret that the cornerstone of any successful college student is the ability to write well-researched, elegantly worded, and thought-provoking essays. Therefore, figuring out how to write excellent research papers is a must for students who wish to succeed in obtaining their degree. At the same time, students who spend time and effort on developing research skills in college will benefit in the long term since, in many degrees, it is the central skill to have to thrive in their field. We know that it may be challenging to find the practical way to write a paper that best suits you. The USA and UK colleges may have slightly different requirements for coursework formatting and style. Hence, before starting writing a research paper, we gathered some helpful tips that will guide you at the beginning of your learning path.
Compile your research
The first step after being assigned a paper is to select the topic of your interest and formulate the research question. Having preconceived notions and listing ideas that come to your mind will help you build a strong argument and structure the first draft of your essay. Your ideas will make a paper unique and personalized, which will make your essay interesting and original. Here you can list some sources and literature that may be useful for your research and guide it in the right direction. You also may think of some keywords that organize your further search and analysis of the materials. Look for scholarly and academic sources in online libraries and archives of multiple universities with the help of the keywords you came up with. You may also check Google Scholar, Google Books, or JSTOR services for this purpose. Don’t forget to download or save the links to any useful materials that you found and add to your first draft so you’ll not lose them.
To sum it up, your first draft should include:
- A research question
- Ideas that come to your mind regarding the topic
- Potential sources and materials
- Keywords to guide your online search
Cite your sources
Every coursework requires students to use specific formattings, such as MLA or APA. As soon as you determine the list of sources that you will utilize for your paper, find out how to cite them properly and do it immediately or along with writing your paper. In this case, you won’t need to go back after finishing your paper, look for all the materials you used once again, and spend additional time on this part of the assignment.
You can also save some time and effort writing a brief description of materials that you found under each source citation in your first draft. It’s especially handy if you need to write a literature review or annotated bibliography. You can also copy past some useful parts of the materials, including page numbers, under each source citation in your draft to further paraphrase it or cite directly in your paper. Many of the online scholarly sources have free access options so you can find materials that best suit your paper without facing any limitations. Add some notes to the quotes and materials with the ideas for your analysis to start getting your head around the arguments you want to focus on.
Create an outline
First, pay attention to the number of pages your assignment requires. Either your professor provided you with specific limitations or it’s up to you, it’s necessary to realize that it’s impossible to include all the information you have found. That’s why to prioritize the issues you want to cover in your research paper and focus on building strong arguments that support your thesis. Think of whether you want to use headings and split the paper into sections and estimate how long every section should be to fit the target amount of pages.
For those students to whom English is the second language and who may have found themselves overwhelmed and struggling to write their first papers, there is a website that provides assistance. A research paper writer service similar to CustomWritings provides students with the help of expert academic writers. Such service may be a helpful hand at the beginning of your learning experience. The companies that operate in this field aid their customer in finding a professional writer and order a cheap and quality paper.
Every paper requires an introduction paragraph that explains the main points you’ll further expand. Writing from scratch may be challenging because you can find yourself stuck at some point. In this case, the reviews of your first draft and briefly described materials will help you find inspiration and remember the ideas of yours that will help you to stay on track. The body paragraphs require strong argumentation and support from credible sources. Make sure that your paper is structured logically and strictly supports your arguments. Otherwise, you may find yourself lost and confused trying to cover the controversial issue from all perspectives. Remember that following your ideas and building your personal arguments on the topic will make your essay unique and interesting to read. So don’t get lost trying to cover everything since you usually have limits on the number of pages. Sure, it’s always better to be aware of the different opinions of the topic of your interest because it develops your one and helps you create your research question in the first place. But the top research papers stick to one argument and logically support it. The conclusion paragraph should paraphrase the thesis statement from your introduction and briefly restate the main points of your research paper. When the paper is written, revise it to make sure that it doesn’t have any grammatical errors.
The final word
Every complex task requires a structured approach and personal ideas to provide an interesting analysis. The thorough research and thought-provoking arguments will make your essay unique and interesting. Create an outline to guide you in your writing, including proper citing of the materials. Don’t forget about the proper formatting and style of your paper. If you’re a student who’s looking for additional assistance to learn the craft of writing, you can utilize the company that provides help in writing assignments and buy a custom paper to use as a framework for your future coursework.
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