If there is a task that sends shivers to the backs of the students, it is surely a research paper writing and the topic choice for this assignment. When you are asked to write about 10 or 15 pages, it is often hard to keep the emotions under control, aFFnd you start thinking how you will write and research, and what it will take you to do it. Thus, some students decide not to face the problem, but avoid it using the existing sample from the web source, which is not safe for various reasons. First of all – plagiarism, as your work will be checked for any copied material, and if you have any – you may even be expelled. And secondly, your teacher might have already seen that sample or it can even be the paper your teacher has written, so if you do not want to have any troubles with your professor, do not be foolish and turn in the work you have found online.
It is understandable why students try to avoid the writing process by all means. School teachers do not give substantial knowledge about research paper writing, and professors often forget to explain what exactly their students have to submit, which makes the work extremely hard to complete. Also, many students take classes just to fill in the free hours they have, and when they get complex assignments on these classes, nobody has a desire to invest time in them for obvious reasons.
Well, that is all the question of approach. If the student understands that a research paper is rather a great chance to get deeper into the field of study and become a more skillful writer, then the assignment does not seem so overwhelming. Any big work is an important stage of the students’ lives when they can actually understand what kind of sphere they want to work in upon graduation, or what kind of education they would like to get further.
Luckily, there are numerous things that can help you prepare to write, and do everything to make the writing smooth and fast:
1. Manage the time
One of the most important tips students love to ignore is the necessity of planning. When you fail to plan how you will use the time you have, you can end up forgetting about the deadline or submitting an unfinished or unpolished work. Usually, people who do not have a plan write their papers the day or the night before the submission and are not being graded well.
It does not matter how much time you have. Professors can be pretty generous and give you a few weeks or even months to complete a lengthy paper. Even though it feels like you have lots of time before the due date, do not be fooled by this thought and create a plan. Otherwise, you will leave a lot of work for the last minute, regretting that you have wasted the time.
Do not go straight for the hardest parts. Think how you will outline the paper, brainstorm a few ideas, and make some helpful notes. Set yourself the time limits for each procedure like literature review, writing, etc.
2. Topic is the key
At times, the professor will assign you the topic or provide you with a list to choose from, and you will not spend too much time making up your mind. However, in occasions when everything is up to you, it is important to use the freedom wisely and select the topic you would love to work on. There is no doubt you will have to spend some time deciding, as there are some technical aspects of the topic choice you have to consider. Look at the work limit the teacher has set, and think how broad can your topic be. It has to be focused enough so you know exactly what to write about and extensive enough to fill in the number of pages you are asked to cover. Think of the approximate topic first and make a research on it. Look through the books and find more information to make a better choice and modify the topic if needed.
3. Lead the way
What is the most significant part of your paper? A thesis statement, of course, and you should remember this rule as an ABC. This is a single sentence that encompasses the whole research. How is that possible? Well, it surely should not give any in-depth explanations, but rather provide an overview and tell the reader what the paper will be about in general and what it aims to prove.
It is okay if the statement does not look very professional at first. It works as long as you have a clear idea in your mind, and you know which road the research will take. When you finish the work, you will still have a chance to change the thesis and make it more appropriate for the paper you have.
Actually, you may even change your mind while researching and writing the work, choosing the opposite side of the argument or finding evidence that refutes your viewpoint, and that is perfectly fine. It usually happens in the first stages of the writing process, as you are researching and outlining the work, so will still have time to produce a nice paper, and it will definitely be more professional.
4. Time for the research
You surely know how crucial it is to conduct a proper research, but it is also vital to remember that your sources should be credible and relevant enough.
Many students and scholars use only a few researches as a foundation for their work. However, before they choose particular works, they go through numerous papers addressing the same issue and try look at the problem from various perspectives. One of the reasons you are being assigned to research is because your teachers want you to learn to analyze the information, assess its reliability, and understand every detail before you take the position yourself. Thus, you are expected to make the most logical decision and base it on the facts, which means you need to get enough knowledge on the topic to back up your final choice.
5. Outline and structure
One of the most confusing moments you will have in the preparation process starts here. You have gathered the info and should be ready to write, but you barely know where to start and where to go when you do. Thus, you need to outline the paper or, in other words, plan the writing process. There are certain rules you have to follow while outlining the work, however, most of the things are completely up to you.
You must include such sections as methodology, literature review, and a few others you can look up in any research paper template. Think of the parts such sections will consist of and what kind of info they will cover. Write your thoughts down, take a look at the whole picture, and if it looks consistent – you are ready to write!