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How To Create Good Research Papers: A Practical Guide

Writing a great paper may sound like a tough challenge, but in reality the only ones that struggle with the process are students that either lack the confidence in their writing or those that don’t know or practice all the steps involved in writing a great document. Here is a practical guide to help you create a really good paper that is sure to get you a top grade:

Brainstorming Topic Ideas

No matter if you are given a topic list or given the opportunity to choose your own, you should have a couple of options in mind before settling on any one. Consider several questions and keep in mind that you will have an easier time working on a project you already know a little about and one that interests you.

Conducting Pre-Research

Narrow your ideas and conduct some pre-research. This means looking up some key terms or concepts that are often discussed in your topic area. You should also look towards possibly making a list of possible resources to use. If you find that there aren’t enough resources available then you might want to choose a different topic.

Conducting In-Depth Research

Head down to the library to start searching for academic resources to use in your project. If you don’t know where to begin, speak with the reference librarian. He or she should direct you to academic sources that are relevant and current to the project you have undertaken.

Drafting a Thesis and Outline

Gather your resources and notes and spend a few minutes drafting ideas for a thesis statement. It doesn’t have to be perfect at this point but it should be developed enough that it will guide the first draft of your paper. Draft a detailed outline containing each of your discussion points as well as the pieces of evidence you will present in your argument.

Writing the First Draft

When you’re finally ready to start writing it’s important that you use a technique that allows you get all of your ideas down without hesitation or stopping to make small corrections. This technique of writing the first draft is used by many writers and usually leads to a finely crafted overall work.

Revise, Edit and Proofread.

Lastly, never submit an assignment that hasn’t been revised, edited or proofread. Many students don’t set enough time aside to get these final steps done, and the result is that they submit an inferior document that often doesn’t get them a top grade. Your academic reputation relies on how much effort you make, and it’ll be clear to any instructor that you aren’t putting in the work if your assignment is filled with errors and poorly written.