As per Oxford advanced learners dictionary the term research is a systematic investigation of materials, sources etc to establish facts. A research paper is basically a type of academic writing which involves detailed analysis of data and theories. Mere knowledge about the topic should not be enough for a successful research paper. To reflect excellence or perfection in anything you write, you need to do a little bit of hard work and a wide range of reading. Writing a research paper is tough and may be challenging, because of the intensive research that it requires. But if you follow proper steps in writing, then writing a research paper will not be a difficult task.
Following steps help you to write a successful research paper:
1] Select a topic
2] Find a reliable source
3] Write an outline
4] Organize the collected data and notes
5] Preparation of first draft and editing your final draft
Selection of Topic
The first and foremost step of your writing procedure is the selection of the topic. If you are assigned to choose the topic, then you should choose a topic that you have always been curious to know in depth. The curiosity will keep you learning about the subject and this interest will help you to probe into each and every detail and understand it in depth. Try to avoid subjects that require specialized or technical knowledge .Be sure about the availability of source materials. Do not waste time over topics which have limited source materials.
Finding Reliable Sources
Finding reliable sources for your research paper is not an easy job. First you can approach library materials. Check out the printed materials available in the library like, books, almanacs, encyclopedias, dictionaries, government publications, magazines, journals, reports etc. You can also seek the help of the librarians because she/he is a trained person who can suggest you to select apt books or to find out relevant information that you need. You can also make use of web based information or online resources for your research paper.
Writing an Outline
After reading and analyzing the source materials, you can write an outline .Preparing an outline is an important step in writing a good research paper. While writing an outline you must make sure that all your points are covered and later if necessary you can rework on it. Writing an outline helps to lay the foundation of your research paper. In this part you can think about the arrangement of ideas and classification of paragraphs according to their importance.
Organize the Data /Notes
In the next step you can organize all the information according to the outline that you have prepared .Critically approach your collected data and evaluate it. Find out the supporting views and facts that enhance the quality of your writing. Your written words should ensure effective communication of your thoughts and ideas to those who read your paper. Do not include irrelevant information in your paper because it may affect the accuracy of your writing. Try to express everything in your own words. Avoid plagiarism .Include citations if necessary. Whenever you borrow quotations, be sure that you inserted quotation marks around it.
Writing Your First Draft and Editing
With reference to your outline, prepare your first draft .Considering all the details and points; elaborate your outline in the sense that structures it into sentences and paragraphs. Add enough details to your paper so that the reader can easily grasp your ideas. You can rework on your draft if there is any mistakes or it lacks any information. Check for grammatical and typographical errors and spellings .If you feel that your first draft meets the requirements by your professor or tutor, you can proceed to editing and writing your final draft. Do not forget to write down the bibliographical information which covers the details regarding the author, book-title, page numbers, publishers name and the date of publishing according to the format required by your syllabus.
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