University students are usually ready to meet any challenges head on. Still, when it comes to writing research papers or essays, they often find themselves overwhelmed by anxiety and doubts.
Though there are standard formats for virtually any academic paper, lecturers tend to provide specific writing guidelines for each particular paper, which may just add to students’ confusion.
Of course, with time learners acquire the essential skills, knowledge, and experience. And the writing process becomes smoother and even enjoyable. But at the begging of your writing journey, you might experience considerable difficulty and even frustration when dealing with research papers.
Below are five tips that can help you understand the peculiarities of research paper writing and show you how to deliver successful papers.
1. It’s All About Research
A research paper is the type of academic paper that requires you to thoroughly analyse the research topic, present your take on it, provide enough evidence to back up your position, and infer conclusions from your discussion. Needless to say, you can’t do it all without properly researching the topic at hand. Once you get down to researching the topic, you’ll understand your subject better and take in the details you might overlook otherwise. The research process is also the stage during which worthwhile and sound ideas are born. What’s more, doing research helps form, reinforce, or refute your own opinion about the issue or phenomenon discussed.
2. Organising Your Ideas
Undoubtedly, your research will spawn tons of interesting ideas. So, not to lose track of them, it’s a wise decision to organise your presentation prior to writing your paper. If you skip the organisation process and dive into writing from the get go, your paper can end up lacking clarity, coherence, and, more importantly, focus. In other words, you won’t be able to craft a strong arguable thesis statement, which is the heart of any academic paper. As a result, you’ll need to spend much more time revisiting and editing your draft.
Once you’re done researching your subject, it’s recommended that you create an outline that will help you verbalise your arguments and present them in a coherent way. Think of the main points that need to be covered in the research paper, add in supporting ideas and list them in your outline. This can go a long way toward creating a well-organised final draft.
- Useful tip from an expert. It’s beneficial to do some freewriting before getting down to writing a draft. According to Isabelle Foster, a writing expert at PapersOwl.com, “Freewriting allows you to generate some random ideas pertinent to your topic without paying much attention to logic, clarity, structure, and grammar. Such seemingly disorganised writing may help you come up with sound thoughts, which won’t be forgotten as you proceed with your work, and structure your draft properly.” You can start freewriting after putting together your outline.
3. Writing the Intro
The introduction section is the only place where you can present the background and provide context for everything you plan to discuss in your research paper. Just like any other paper, your research paper should engage your audience. And nothing can do this more effectively than a hook sentence that also should appear in the intro. Just because you’re working on a formal paper doesn’t mean that your writing has to be insipid and boring. So, try to catch your reader’s’ attention with an effective and strong opening sentence. Also, explain the purpose of your paper and welcome your readers to join the discussion. Conclude your introduction with a strong thesis.
4. Writing the Body
Strong body paragraphs represent the backbone of your research paper. Refer to the outline you’ve created at the preliminary writing stage. More often than not, guidelines require that you use at least three body paragraphs, where you need to present a strong point first, them prop it up with substantial evidence. It’s good idea to use quotes from authoritative scientists who have already researched your topic. Don’t forget to give proper credit to the authors when citing them and add your personal interpretations of all findings and expert opinions.
5. Writing the Conclusion
Once you’re done with the intro and the body, it’s time to wrap it all up in the concluding paragraph. Do not merely restate your research problem. Synthesise your key points, make it clear how your audience may benefit from your research paper, and suggest new areas for the future research. Be concise and specific when writing your conclusion. That said, be sure to comment on bigger, more important issues linked with your research. Note that the overall tone of your ending should instill confidence in your readers and leave them with a sense of a topic completed.