Search synonyms of Research Paper on Wikipedia and it will show you long hours of work and restless hard work. No, it doesn’t. But this is exactly what research papers are all about. If you have ever done a research project at your college/university, you would know how cumbersome research papers are. Many students fail to deliver a quality research paper because of not following the important tips for writing a research paper.
You might wonder that how come your seniors and professors are able to publish multiple research papers every year without locking themselves in their rooms. Writing well-researched, high-quality, and accurate research papers is no rocket science if you follow some basic tips for writing a research paper. Luckily, there is a secret to crafting the perfect research paper and you are about to get your hands on it by the end of this blog post.
In this blog, we will discuss all the thick and thins of writing a perfect research paper by explaining all the steps that will you need to implement to perfectly convert your research into a concrete piece of writing. From selecting your research topic to creating your research paper outline and writing your first draft, this blog covers all it takes to help you craft a cut-to-perfection research paper. But before diving into the tips, let’s take baby steps by understanding what is a research paper, how much is its length, and what tips you need to follow to make your effort worth every bit of it.
What is a Research Paper?
To put things simply, a research paper is a type of academic paper that streamlines your research and puts your analysis, evaluation, comparisons, interpretations, and empirical evidence in a predefined outline so that it is easier to draw results from. From the analysis point of view, there is a close similarity between research papers and analytical essays except for the fact that research papers enjoy the liberty to continue research on a pre-existing topic and draw a unique conclusion.
The fact that research papers happen to be the most published and refereed to academic paper type, there is a set benchmark of quality and formality that needs to be maintained while writing one. Research papers are the bedrock of modern scientific research and each year hundreds and thousands of research papers are published in peer viewed journals from across the world.
Not to forget some students tend to confuse research papers with research proposals which are two different things. While research papers show your acquired knowledge on a particular subject through research, research proposals are written for the sake of collecting funding to write a research paper.
How Long Should A Research Paper Be?
Typically speaking, a research paper is around 4000-6000 words. Depending upon the complexity of the chosen research topic and the pre-existing research on the topic, the word count can also exceed as much as 10,000. If you are considering writing a research paper anytime soon, it is recommended to predefine the word count before putting your pen on the paper. It will not just help to finish your research paper on time but will also enhance your productivity by enabling you to work on one section at a time.
Important Tips For Writing A Research Paper:
The secret recipe to craft a perfect research paper step-by-step that no professional researcher will ever tell you is here. Follow the following simple steps to cut down your research paper writing worries and finish the job well before your mind and energy gives up on it:
1) Come Up with a Topic/Question:
One of the most important prerequisites for your research paper is curiosity. You cannot write research papers until and unless you are truly engulfed in the interest of a given topic. Choosing a topic for your research paper may sound like an easy step. But only experienced researchers know how significant it can be in determining the overall scope of your research and influencing every step of your research.
The goal here is to choose a topic/question for your research that is inclusive, substantial, and has a significant amount of research already present around it. It is because choosing a completely new/unique topic that does not have any relevant information available will only create problems at the citation/referencing part. Ideally, your research paper should provide enough amount of content and should be engaging enough to drag you through the research journey.
2) Do Your Research:
The lengthiest part of your research paper that actually creates the core of your academic paper is the research. The first step of conducting your research on a given topic is to create a thesis statement that contains a question that your research is going to answer extensively. You may also include misconceptions around your topic in a thesis statement and it will work just fine.
The second step is to do your preliminary research. Your library is the ideal place, to begin with. You can also use online research databases and search engines to collect credible and relevant data on your topic. Just make sure that you use authentic and credited online academic sources for this purpose.
What student researchers face a lot while doing their research work is the amount of data present on their topic is overwhelming. You have to understand one thing here and that is you cannot include all the research you have done in your research paper. That is why researchers introduced the term; skim sources. Now you can easily skim your sources and only include the pieces of research that add value to your power than overburdening yourself.
3) Develop an Outline:
Like a skeleton is to your body, an outline provides a shape to your research paper and gives it a systemic structure so that its contents are consumable. For students who are writing a research paper for the first time, it is important to understand that a research paper is different from an informal essay and ask for a methodical layout.
To create an effective research paper outline, you will first require to enlist all the major categories and sub-categories your paper should cover. These categories will be based upon both; what your research paper talks about and what information you have available. After the list of all the inclusions is completed, you will have to give that list a sequence. The priority while creating an outline should be breaking down your information into smaller and smaller paragraphs so that it is pleasing to the reader’s eye. A typical research paper outline includes an introduction, literature review, research work, conclusion, and references.
4) Write a Research Draft:
After you have successfully created an effective research paper outline, it is time to begin the grind. The most asking for and the longest step of your research paper writing is here. Say Hi to writing your first of the many drafts. It is time for you to capitalize on your research and write while keeping citations and referencing in consideration.
There is an argument between people who say the introduction should be written at the last and those who say it should be written at the earliest. You are free to take sides. Just write it as you will get enough time to make changes later. Your draft should open with your thesis statement and should go on filling each and every section. Don’t worry about the quality and perfection here as it is your last step. Just try to write authentically and create a smooth transition between sub-topics.
5) Edit, Review, and Proofread:
Last and arguably the most important part of your research paper writing is the editing, proofreading, and review step. Go through each and every sentence twice or thrice to make sure two things; first does it make any sense at all? Second, is it relevant to your research? Add or subtract words, lines, and paragraphs with the aim to create cohesion and smooth transition between your paragraphs.
Your final review should make sure that your research paper is free from all sorts of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. You can also seek help from a third person or a professional editing and proofreading service online to align all the elements perfectly in your research paper.
Following these important tips for writing a research paper will allow you to craft a well-research and perfectly written research paper.