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Tips from a Pro: How to Write a Good Research Paper

The ability to write a great research paper doesn’t always come naturally. While getting enough practice and experience will make writing a good research paper easier, a lot of times you simply won’t have time to work hard on getting better. So we’ve asked the professionals for the 10 best tips to composing a great research paper:

Read the Assignment Prompt

sample-image The first thing you should do is read the prompt to make sure you understand what is being asked of you from the assignment. Identify and underline any keywords or components (e.g., “analyze,” “discuss,” “compare,” etc.) that you have address in order to meet the minimum requirements.

Search for Background Information

Generate a few ideas by reading up on some background information on the things you are most interested in finding out about. Look up key terms and issues and provide yourself with a general sense of the areas that need further studying or development. Write and maintain notes for all of this for easy reference.

Choose a Good Manageable Topic

Conduct Some In-Depth Study

As soon as you’ve picked a good topic you are ready to do some in-depth research. Head to the university library and speak with the reference librarian. He or she should be able to do direct you to some resources to get you started. Remember to look for content that is current and reliable.

Develop a Focused and Narrowed Thesis
Take your notes and develop a few ideas for your thesis statement. Your thesis should present a clear side or opinion on a given topic, meaning that someone else should be able argue against or provide a counter claim to the statement. It should also be written directly with no confusing language or construction.

Create an Assignment Outline
Organization is another important step in creating a great academic assignment. Take your notes and create a structured outline of your paper. It should include all of the major components, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Write the First Draft Quickly and Efficiently
Start writing the first draft of your assignment as quickly and as efficiently as is possible. The reasoning behind this method is that it’s a good way to get all of your ideas down in one place, as they come up in your mind. You’re also less likely to forget an important detail if you allow yourself to write freely rather then get mired by constantly making corrections.

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Revise the Content of the Assignment

Set your work aside for a few days before coming back to it to make revision. Having a fresh perspective and clear mind will help identify areas needing improvement. Look to remove content, add content, or rearrange content as necessary.

  • Edit and Proofread the Content of the Work Mistakes will certainly drag your assignment grade down, which is one of the reasons why you should completely edit and proofread your work before submitting it to the instructor. Do each of these very carefully and attentively.

  • Check for all the Small the Details Finally, you should always check for all the small details that make your presentation pristine. For instance, make sure the page numbers are correct, the margins are all uniform, and that spacing between lines is consistent.