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How to Write a Research Paper

Learn How to Write a Research Paper For College

Whether you are a new college student or revisiting the academic world, writing papers will be a huge part of your college experience. While tackling this project can be daunting, there are methods that you can adopt to make writing a research paper easier. Keeping a system in place will make all your research projects streamlined, quick and efficient, freeing up your time for more enjoyable aspects of college life.

how to write a research paper

Know What is Expected

The first step to write a research paper is to know exactly what is expected for each and every assignment. Research papers tend to be more straightforward than other types of assignments. Still, if the product that you deliver is not quite what your professor assigned or expected, your grade could really suffer. Before you type a single query into a search engine or crack a book, read the project requirements thoroughly and understand what the assignment entails. If you need to have subjects or angles pre-approved, get that done as soon as possible, leaving time to do your research and complete the writing process.

Make a Plan

Some people can write legibly and intelligently without really mapping out a plan before they begin. However, this in not really recommended. Even skilled writers benefit from creating a usable outline before they begin their paper. An outline does several things to improve your research paper. First, it organizes your subject in a way that flows smoothly. In addition, when you are ready to begin the research process, you have a specific direction to go, saving time. If you know exactly what you are writing to, you aren't going to waste any time on research material that may be related, but doesn't really fit in with the direction you are heading. Finally, an outline gives you a preplanned structure that allows to you work on your paper in smaller chunks.

Research Effectively

College students several decades ago had to spend hours in a library pouring over books to get useful information. Today, an Internet connection is sufficient for almost all research projects. While information is readily available, be selective with what resources you use. Many professors are less-than-impressed with references to general sites like Wikipedia, for example. Favor academic sites, peer-reviewed references or resource addresses followed by a .gov or .org ending.

Time Management

All this advice will be for naught if you don't manage your time effectively. In all likelihood, you will have several projects due around the same time. Don't make the mistake of thinking there is no hurry. Instead, break the research paper into blocks and make incremental goals that keep you on track. Even the best paper will fail to deliver if you don't meet the deadline. Also, details like grammar and punctuation do matter, so don't be lazy in the rush to finish.