Research Paper Writing for College
Many courses in universities include some sort of writing assignment, often in the form of a research paper writing. Papers generally require that a student can identify a broad field of research that is related to the course, as well as focus the topic on some background reading, identify a research question, marshal both primary and secondary sources to answer this question, and also present the argument in a very clear and creative manner, with appropriate citations.
Teach Yourself How to Write Research Paper
From the outset, remember one important point: writing a research paper is about learning how to teach yourself. After you leave the college or university environment, you'll continue learning about the world as well as about its vast complexities. There's no better way to hone all the skills of life-long learning rather than by writing a research paper on your own. The process requires you to ask some good questions, find the resources to answer them, show your answers to an audience, and also defend the answers against detractors. Those are skills which you'll use in all the professions you might pursue.
The Commandments of Writing a Research Paper
- You should do some background reading, analyze it, and speak with your instructor to identify your topic. At the beginning of your course, you'll most likely not be aware of major scholarly topics which are important in your sphere of study. You should start by doing general reading in this sphere. If nothing else, start with some encyclopedias - a perfect but sadly neglected source. Read some books and articles on your topic as well. After analyzing them, speak with your instructor about your general ideas as well as the possible research directions which you're thinking about pursuing. So, if you don't know how to write research paper and where to start, obviously it's the first step on your way of writing.
- You should have a clear research question. A research question usually starts with the word “why” or “how.” The question can be general or particular, as it is required in your research paper writing.
- You should do real research. “Real research” is something other than just reading secondary resources or pulling information off the Web. Real research means using primary sources. What counts as a great resource, however, depends on what type of question you're trying to answer.
- You should make an argument. Unfortunately, numerous undergraduate research papers are no more than just glorified book reports. You know the drill: check out 10 books from the library, skim through 3 of them, put down a few facts or simply mark some pages, combine the information in your own words, and the work is done. This won't do. The paper should not just assemble evidence, but it should weave together all the facts so that they form a kind of argument which answers the research question. There is not one argument for all scholarly spheres, however there are better and worse arguments.
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