Learning how to write a research essay

Research papers are the most common assignment students deal with during their studies in college, high school and sometimes even in the middle school. For this reason, there's no chance you can avoid this kind of task, which means that the earlier you learn how to write a research essay, the more comfortable and calm your college years will be. In this article, we want to share some tips that will hopefully save you from stress and frustration. You will learn how to come up with a good content, what requirements to follow and how to structure your paper.

Start with researching the topic

You may be given a particular topic to cover in your research paper, or you may be allowed to come up with your own. In any case, the first step you need to take is doing research. Here are some tips in this regard:

  • Find out resources. There are many of them: all kinds of online encyclopedias and related web-sites, libraries, journals, newspapers, articles, interviews etc.
  • Jot down the information you will use. While reading resources, take short notes not to lose important ideas. Keep your notes brief and don't go into much details.
  • Define your goal. After all, what do you want to achieve in your research paper? What do you want to prove or what problem to solve? This will cut the number of resources and make it easier to organize your thoughts.
  • Discuss the topic with your professor. Find out whether it meets the requirements and ask for some advice. This is how you will also understand whether your professor approves your approach.

Work on structuring your research paper

A well-structured paper is a well-written one. It helps the reader follow your thoughts easily and it's also a common requirement to writing this kind of paper. Here's what you should do to make a good structure:

  • Divide your paper into parts, representing sub-topics. Each of the sub-topics will have to cover specific question and be provided in a separate paragraph. Make sure every sub-topic serves the goal of your research paper.
  • Make an outline. This is an essential step in every kind of writing. You can make it detailed if it helps, but even a brief general outline would be fine.
  • Come up with a format. You need to read the instructions and make sure you understand the format. If you have any questions, better discuss them with your professor to avoid mistakes.
  • Plan your essay. This is about setting priorities. You need to decide what you would like do discuss first of all and what matters less and can be left behind if your essay appears to be too long.

Proceed to writing your research paper

Every paper has three essential parts, each of which serves its own purpose. In the first part, you will introduce your essay to the reader and announce the topic, in the middle part you will provide most of the content, followed by the third part to conclude. Take a look at the tips:

  • The introduction has to be narrow and specific. Don't make it longer than two paragraphs and give essentials regarding the topic to introduce your reader to the discussed issue.
  • Write the body part. It consists of no more than five paragraphs, depending on the instructions. Every new thought begins with a new paragraph and has to be supported by arguments, examples and quotes, if needed.
  • Remember citing the references. Research papers foresees using sources and citing them appropriately. Find out what citing format is required and follow it.
  • Write conclusions. This means summarizing your ideas and bringing them to a logical conclusion. This part usually takes one or two paragraphs.

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