RESEARCH PAPER

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How to Write a Research Paper

When studying at higher levels of school and throughout college, you will likely be asked to prepare research papers. A research paper can be used for exploring and identifying scientific, technical and social issues. If it’s your first time writing a research paper, it may seem daunting, but with good organization and focus of mind, you can make the process easier on yourself. The paper won’t write itself, but you can plan and prepare well so that the writing practically falls into place.

Ask yourself important questions. Although you may be limited by specific classroom or work related guidelines, choosing your topic is the first and most important step in your research paper project. Regardless of whether your topic can be anything you want or has rigid requirements, it is important to keep a few questions in mind: Is there enough research available on this topic? Is the topic new and unique enough that I can offer fresh opinions? Is it pertinent to my class/occupation?

Pick something you love. Whenever possible, choose a topic that you feel passionate about. Writing about something you enjoy certainly shows in the final product, making it more likely that you will be successful writing a paper about something you enjoy.

Stay original. If you are writing a research paper for a class, consider the other students. Is it likely that they will also be writing about your topic? How can you keep your paper unique and interesting if everyone is writing about the same thing?

Get advice. If you are struggling to come up with a topic that feels “just right,” ask your professor or coworkers/classmates for advice. They will likely have great ideas that, even if they aren’t options for you to choose, can inspire you with new ideas. Asking a professor for help may seem frightening, but if they are worth anything as a professor, they want you to be successful with your work, and will do what they can to make that happen.

Don’t be afraid to change your topic. If you choose a topic, begin researching, and realize that it isn’t the right decision for you for some reason, don’t fret! Although it requires a bit more time, you have the ability to change your topic even after you begin researching others.