Article - Research Paper Tips:

Writing a research paper doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. High school and college students typically take on research paper assignments at least a couple of times during their academic careers. It helps to follow a series of steps to produce the best research paper possible.

First, if you are not assigned a topic, choose one that interests you. For assigned topics, think about the subject and jot down some things you already know about it. Then determine what you will need to research before you start writing the paper.

Next, do the research. Find as much information about the topic as you can. Once you have found the information, you can start to decipher the subject matter and focus on the relevant aspects of it.

Decide on the theme or thesis of the paper, and state it as simply and directly as possible. A thesis is something you are going to prove in your research paper, so it needs to be clear and concise.

Now, make an outline and organize the subtopics. Start with the thesis and put the argument and other pertinent information in order. The outline should arrange the facts in order of importance and assist in making the paper flow. The purpose of the outline is to help you assemble your thoughts, facts, and opinions and put them in a logical order.

Write the first draft using the outline and defend the thesis as clearly as possible. Use the data collected to support the position taken in the research paper.

Carefully review the outline and the first draft, and check them for errors and omissions. Make edits where needed and determine whether or not you satisfactorily supported the thesis. Make sure the paper portrays the position taken, and correlates to the supporting data. Once you have edited the paper, check it again for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors before writing the final draft.

Research papers should be written according to the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. This format includes citations and documenting the sources for your research. The paper should be formatted using a simple, easily read font, single-spaced text, and a numbering header in the upper right corner of the page.

The first page of the paper should include your name, date, teacher, and subject in the upper left corner, all double-spaced. Insert another double space, then type the title of the paper, centering it on the page. Double-space once more and start the content of the research paper using single spacing. Quotes should be typed in italics. Footnotes and endnotes are to be included on a separate page. Cited works are on their own page as well. The instructions may vary depending on the instructor, but basic MLA format is consistent.

Following these simple steps and organizing the paper in advance will help create an excellent research paper that is sure to score a high grade.


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