10 Tips for Writing an Effective Research Paper
One of the most Googled phrases by college students is ‘edit my paper’. Understandably so, campus life tends to get a little bit hectic, leaving college students with little to no time to work on their academic paper. So, seeking help from such services remains the only viable option for most college-goers.
However, for others, the sheer difficult nature of academic papers, including research papers, is enough to leave them stuck on page one and rightly so. As the name suggests, research papers demand a lot of research from credible sources to have a decent chance of scoring a high grade.
If you are a college student, do not be discouraged. The article features ten tips for effective research paper writing for the next time you have a research paper assignment. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Understand the Instructions First
When writing a research paper, you need to have an idea, research problem, or hypothesis that you would like to test. But before you do so, it would be best to read the instructions and understand exactly what the professor expects from you.
Revisit the instructions over and over again. Doing so will help you remain familiar with what is required of you. What is the deadline? What is the referencing style that you should follow?
Choose a Topic of Your Own Liking
For the most part, the course instructor or the lecturer will give you a topic to work on. However, there are instances where you will be required to choose a topic for yourself.
If this is the case, you should strongly consider choosing a topic you like or are comfortable working on. As a rule of thumb start by selecting four topics that you are seriously interested in. from here, choose the one that you identify the most with.
You will find it easier to research and write a research paper with a topic that you find interesting.
Do the Research
Doing research is the hardest part. In relation to the point above, you should consider researching before you write. In doing so, you will be assessing if there is enough material to base your paper on. Note that it would be best if you did research before writing; not during the writing process.
Remember the materials that you use should be credible and academic. This means that you should be careful with information from most blogs and internet sources. Use educational websites and online resources. Also, consider visiting the library to find out more.
Take Down Proper Small Notes
After gathering information materials relevant to your assignment, the next thing you should consider doing is taking down small notes. The information that you have gathered is broad and consists of a ton of data that might not be relevant to your paper.
So, taking down notes before writing helps you remove jargon from your paper. Additionally, this makes the entire writing process easy. However, remember also to write down the referencing information, including the author’s information and publication details.
Before You Start Writing, Create an Outline
The next step that follows after making small notes, is the creation of an outline. In academic writing, structure and formatting are critical. So, it would be ideal if you created an outline before you start the writing process.
There are many outlines or structures that you could follow. However, there is a standard approach that you must follow as it includes the following details;
- A title page
- An abstract
- An introduction
- The methods used for collecting data
- Results of the study
- Conclusion/ Recommendations
- Tables and Figures
Improve Your Organization Skills
Now that you have everything ready, all that is left is to start writing. However, you need to reconsider your current organization skills. Research papers demand a high level of organization.
From your referencing style to your collection of data, you should be organized at all times. Remember that your points also need to be well organized and explained using simple to understand English.
As a rule of thumb, consider brushing up on your organization skills to match the research paper requirements.
Time Management is Everything
Closely linked to organizational skills are time management skills. Research papers are often lengthy documents that are almost impossible to complete in one sitting.
For this reason, you should strongly consider setting time aside every day to work on the document. If you are struggling with managing your time, you should consider reading more about time management.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
It’s no secret that academic papers are challenging to write. They can be incredibly frustrating to students new to this style of writing. For such reasons, it is important to ask for help, especially when you are stuck.
Take advantage of your campus’ resources. This includes the library and your lecturers. If that is not an option, consider online resources, including professional writing services.
Be Careful with the Formatting Style and Referencing
Formatting and referencing are important when it comes to academic writing. Failure to appropriately use these styles could lead to penalties that could see your overall grade drop. There are different referencing styles, and the choice of use will depend on your instructions or your preference.
Fortunately, there are only three major referencing styles used by all educational institutions. Familiarize yourself with all these styles to make it easier when referencing all those sources.
Proofread Your Work Before Submitting It
Lastly, before submitting your work, reread it, and check for any potential errors. Grammatical issues and typos can bear grave consequences on your overall paper, depending on the lecturer.
So, to avoid any penalties, go through your paper and check for any errors, however long it will take. Luckily, there are loads of grammar editing software that you could use to help you with this.
However, if this is not an option, consider having a friend proofread your work. The overall process might be long and tedious, but it is undoubtedly worthwhile.