It’s the sort of project that can leave even the most organized student quaking in their boots, staring at the assignment like they’re Luke Skywalker and it’s the Death Star.
You have to pick a broad topic, do some in-depth research, hone in on a research question, and then present your answer to that question in an interesting way. How on earth are you supposed to tackle this thing? With a well-devised plan, some courage, and of time together, so you might as well pick something you like, or, at the very least, have a vague interest in.
Research papers are generally longer pieces of written work than essays.
Writing a research paper involves all of the steps for writing an essay plus some additional ones.
In this text document, I start compiling a list of all the sources I’m using.
It tends to look like this: Remember that at this point, your thesis isn’t solid. If your research starts to strongly contradict your thesis, then come up with a new thesis, revise, and keep on compiling quotes. Depending on how long your paper is, you should have 3-10 different sources, with all sorts of quotes between them.That’s a good start, but take a couple steps to hone your idea a little further so you have an idea of what to research.Here’s a couple of factors to look at when you want to get more specific:recent, as there may not be enough research conducted to support an entire paper on the subject.As you’re starting your research, create some kind of system for filing helpful quotes, links, and other sources.I preferred it to all be on one text document on my computer, but you could try a physical file, too.The sources you used to get ideas and write your paper are listed here. Look at your research paper with fresh eyes; try to imagine you are reading it for the first time: What is it missing? Even if you hate the class, there’s probably at least one topic that you’re curious about.Maybe you want to write about “mental health in high schools” for your paper in your education class.If you feel the assignment is unclear, don’t go any further without talking to your professor about it.Say it with me: a research paper without a thesis question or statement is just a fancy book report. Every good thesis statement has three important qualities: it’s focused, it picks a side, and it can be backed up with research.