The primary objective of including a research paper as a part of any coursework is to introduce the students with the various strategies of research and also to develop their writing skills. The approach employed by writers, predominantly students and occasionally professionals, is that a research paper implies a compilation and then a summarization of various other, related works. This approach chiefly contributes to an end product that has substandard content, limited intent, and a narrow extent.
A research paper should, ideally, proffer a new dimension to the topic it has been written on. It is a representation of the topic from the perspective of the writer. Thus, writing a research paper bequeaths immense responsibility on the writer. It can be mainly of two types:
- Descriptive: An in-depth discussion, explanation, and elaboration on one single topic, taking into consideration all of its subtopics.
- Comparative: Two different schools of thought or two different strategies or perspectives are compared, usually with the intent of establishing the dominance of one thought or strategy over the other.
Aim for the Best
The predilection towards superlative execution of every task undertaken, is a quality that will always prove to be beneficial in all walks of life. It ensures that everything you do is never left wanting in terms of quality. A sincere effort aimed at writing a good research paper that clearly puts across your point, will be satisfying and also get you the required grades. Be sure that you do not resort to any underhanded ways like plagiarism or getting it written from a third party.
Evaluators can always recognize any copied content and moreover, you will lose the opportunity of perfecting your writing skills and of gaining knowledge and the satisfaction of creating genuine content. Aiming for the best, always, is the most pragmatic and profitable advice, which when followed, surely gives outstanding results.
Choice of Topic
The choice of topic is the most crucial aspect, on which the success of a research paper hinges on. Use the following steps when choosing a topic:
- Create a list of categories that interest you. These can range from sports, lifestyle, literature, science, to even personalities, legends, history, civilizations, or myths.
- Shortlist a few topics from each category of your choice that are familiar to you. It is extremely difficult to write on a topic you are unfamiliar with. Moreover, a research paper is formal in its nature and thus, requires the use of specific terms and concepts associated with the topic. Hence, make sure that you are well-versed with the technical jargon related to the topic of your choice.
- Ascertain that the topic you have chosen is not too broad in its nature or too narrow in its approach. To do this, some background research on a few topics is necessary. Remember, if you choose a common topic, you have an added challenge of presenting an improvised and unique perspective that will help you stand out in a crowd of similar papers. Only after careful study and adequate deliberation, choose a topic that you feel confident about.
This instruction is the most obvious and unarguably, the most neglected one. The entire exercise of writing a research paper will prove to be futile, if this instruction is not followed. The first step here, should be to acquaint yourself with the various techniques of research and then implement them.
Go the extra mile and take opinions of experts in the field. This will also give you significant insights into the various dimensions of the topic under consideration. Use case studies, surveys, reports, polls, and similar tools to gain an in-depth understanding of the topic. You can also include them in your paper to put across your view more effectively.
Define the Scope
This is the step wherein you will define the scope of your research paper. After a thorough research, you will know the content that is to be included and the aspects and dimensions of the topic that you will handle. It is important to decide the scope at the onset itself. Most people ignore this step and exert unnecessary efforts on issues that are far beyond the scope of the topic and end up with irrelevant documentation and waste of time.
The scope can be set by writing a thesis statement. The thesis statement must clearly and unambiguously state the intent, extent, and depth of the topic that will be handled in the research paper. The thesis statement will provide you with a concrete base and will help you stay on track.
Create an Outline
Once, you have prepared a final thesis statement, you can then move on and create an outline for your research paper. This outline will be a template that you will fill in, with the actual content. It is always beneficial to break up the entire topic into manageable slots and then deal with each slot individually. The standard format of a research paper and the details of the topics and subtopics to be handled will constitute the outline.
Handle One Subtopic at a Time
The framework or a skeleton of the research paper will be provided by the outline. Now, you have to add a body to this framework. Handle one subtopic at a time. Handle topics in the order that they will appear in the paper. This will help create a decent first draft of your research paper, which has a natural flow of ideas and is devoid of confusion or repetition of thoughts and ideas.
Read through the entire paper. In the first instance, you may need to make quite a few modifications to establish a natural flow from one subtopic to other. The formatting and styling of your research paper should also be considered here. This step will include a check for any obvious errors that might have been inadvertently made. Additionally, a check of whether every source is quoted in the bibliography and whether every abbreviation and definition is mentioned, should be done.
Add the following in your research paper to ensure that it is exemplary in its quality.
- Pictorial representation of concepts and ideas.
- Flow charts and tables, wherever applicable.
- Discussions on the topic under consideration. You can also quote the thoughts of experts that you have approached when researching.
The research paper should be written with an outlook that represents the topic under consideration on a greater canvas. For example, if you are writing on 'The American War of Independence', you can make your research paper more meaningful and significant by adding in studies about how it influenced the way the world perceives America and Americans, or how it has shaped the psyche of a typical American citizen. The creative utilization of your essay writing skills, coupled with sincere efforts, will surely help you write a meritorious research paper.