Tips on how to write a research paper that will guarantee a good grade
Whether you are a literature, history, or science student, you will be required to write a research paper at some point throughout your course. Writing research papers can seem daunting when doing it for the first time, but this should not always be the case. Managing your time well and proper planning will ensure you have an easier time writing a research paper. If you do not feel confident enough about writing it you can always seek the help of a custom essay writing service such as Homeworkholics
To write the best research paper, you need to research your topic, find information sources, write your thesis, and write your paper. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write a research paper.
Researching the topic
When conducting research, you need to ensure you use a very narrow topic. It is difficult to defend an argument when you have a very broad subject to discuss. A refined topic allows you to pose a clear and well-planned argument. It also makes it easier for you to find research evidence tailored to your research.
Whenever you feel like you are going off-topic, always reread the prompt to get back on track. You can begin with one topic, such as British Decorative Art. As you progress with your research, you can narrow down this topic to focus on pottery and transferware. In the end, you can pick one potter in the 1780s and base your research on their work and their achievements in creating a path to mass-production of patterned tableware. You can also look for online sources tat help with formulationg research paper topics. For example if you are a nursing student, you can search for nursing research topics and choose one.
Searching for credible sources
When writing a research paper for a class, it is always important to first check for sources in textbooks and the syllabus. You can also search online and in the library for articles, books, and scholarly work related to your topic. You can also find additional supporting evidence from the works’ references.
Credible and authoritative sources include scholarly works, especially those referenced by other authors, government websites, reputable news sites, and scientific studies. Always check the dates on your research sources to ensure the data you base your research on is up to date.
Check how other scholars approach the topic. Identify sources and how they account on the topic matter. Also, look for databases amongst scholars and use the one that presents the strongest evidence on your topic.
You will need to include a bibliography or cited pages. Therefore, it is important to keep your sources organized. Ensure you list your sources properly and format them according to the writing style recommended by your institution.
Write your thesis
As you continue to research your topic, you need to start drafting your thesis statement. A thesis is a defensible claim that presents an argument. It forms the foundation of your research work and thus requires to be well thought out.
The thesis acts as an opening statement to your argument. It requires a bit of evidence to prove why your topic matters. It needs to be very specific to your topic. For instance, a good thesis statement can read ‘Josiah Spode’s bone china formula made it possible to mass produce transfer printed art work, this expanding the worldwide market for British pottery.’
Once you have your topic and thesis statement well written, you can now begin writing your essay.
Writing your essay
Create an outline
An outline acts as a roadmap to your whole essay. You can use Roman numbers, bullet points, or letters to organize the outline. You need to begin with an introduction where your thesis is included, and write down the key points you plan to use to defend your argument. You can then write the paragraphs and your conclusion.
Presenting your thesis and argument in the introduction
Begin your paper with an attentional grabbing sentence to capture the reader's attentions as you introduce the topic. Present your thesis statement and let your reader know what you plan to be making an argument about. The rest of the introduction section can include a brief mention of the evidence you plan to use to make your case. You can learn more about how to write a research paper introduction on our website blog page.
For example, your opting sentence can be ‘even though they are overlooked in modern day, eighteenth and nineteenth century British pottery manufacturers played a vital role in the industrialization in England.’ After this, you can introduce your thesis.
Lay out your evidence after your thesis. An example of evidence presented in your introduction can be, ‘An assessment of Josiah’s innovative pottery production and distribution techniques will show the crucial role he played to the pottery industry and industrial revolution.
Building your argument in the body paragraphs
Once you have set the context for the reader in your introduction, you need to present your argument and deeper evidence in a 3 to 5 paragraphs body. Each paragraph should focus on a piece of evidence that supports your thesis, and each ideal should flow naturally to the next one. This helps the reader to follow your logic and remain interested in your paper until the end.
For a paper on British pottery and the industrial revolution, you can first introduce the products, how they are created, and the market for the product in the industrial revolution age.
- After your introduction, you can include a section about Spode’s company and its role in making it easier to manufacture and sell pottery.
- The next point can discuss how targeting the middle class led to an increase in demand and, ultimately, the world pottery industry's expansion.
- Explain how Josiah Spode was different from his competitors like Wedgewood, who targeted aristocratic consumers instead of expanding their market reach to include the middle class.
The number of paragraphs you have depends on the data you need to present and the arguments you need to make. Generally, 3 to 5 paragraphs are always the most recommended. This ensures it keeps your work brief without leaving out any important details.
Present a counterargument to strengthen your case
Even though it is not usually necessary, including a counterargument in your research paper can strengthen your argument and convince the reader. Once you have laid out your argument, you can mention an opposing view of your argument. You then need to explain why the different perspective is flawed and why your claim makes more sense.
When presenting a counterargument, ensure it comprises strong points that can easily be believed instead of presenting a weak argument. Opposing a strong alternate perspective will give your work more meaning and value.
Summarize your work in a conclusion
After you write your paper's body, you need to remind the reader of the thesis statement and the step taken through the paper to defend your statement. Sum up the argument by rewriting the reseach paper introduction using different words. Furthermore, you can sum up your argument by connecting your thesis statement to a broader topic to make it more memorable to your readers.
Revising your paper
Once you are done writing your research paper, you need to give it a read as you assess the paper's organization. Each sentence and paragraph should flow naturally to the next one. If you need to rewrite any paragraphs, you can do so at this point to ensure you submit your best-written work.
When revising your work, ensure that the paper meets the assignment guidelines and expectations and accurately answers the question. It is always best to set the paper aside for a few hours after writing before editing. This ensures you look at it with a fresh set of eyes, making it easier to spot mistakes.
Cut out fluff
When editing your paper, look out for the use of unnecessary words and fluff, and ensure you have used a strong language. All academic writing should be written in active voice as opposed to passive while using clear and concise wording.
Every word in your paper should add value to your writing. Do not include any extra words as a way of filling up the word count. However, if you desperately need to increase the word count, you can learn on how to make an essay longer professionally without going off topic.
Proofread your work
Once your work is revised, you need to proofread it, checking for grammar and formatting errors. Fix any typos and errors you come across using grammar checkers for accuracy. Reading your essay aloud can help you spot grammar errors quickly and give you a feel of the flow. Make changes where necessary, and read the paper one last time. You can always use a research paper help service for proofreading and editing your work. Ensure that your paper and citations are correctly formatted before submitting your work.
Once you are sure your essay is perfectly written, you can submit it for marking.
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