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7 Tips for Writing a Better Research Paper

If you are not familiar with this type of paper, here is a rundown of what a research paper is. A research paper is an academic form of writing that requires in-depth research before laying down the substantial and theoretical information you find through research. Additionally, a research paper may have arguments from a thesis with the evidence coming from varied verifiable and reliable sources. 
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Without further ado, let’s get into the tips.


1. Conduct proper research

Research papers are mostly college-based, and even when they are not, there is one place that is guaranteed to have a wealth of resources: the library. Here you will find volumes of books and published articles, journals and even research papers by different authors to get you started. From the thousands of material available here, finding resources in your area is easy.

After you have found the best books to start you off, the next step is to find a comfortable place where you are able to go through the books in peace and quiet. If you find yourself struggling to find the best material, try using catalogue cards or computers in your library to find what you are looking for. Or better yet, ask the librarian. 


2. Be Careful with the Choice of Research Topic

Sometimes you get a topic that has already been allocated to you, which mean you did not have the freedom or liberty to choose one yourself. But that is not always the case. Often, the task of coming up with a research topic is left to the researcher: you. When you have the freedom to choose your own topic, take advantage and go for a topic that interests you or piques your curiosity.

Working on a topic you chose yourself keeps you motivated and gives you the drive you need to spend hours on end researching and writing your paper. However, don’t get carried away when choosing your topic.

One common mistake is that most people choose topics that are too general. Instead, you should choose a very specific topic, otherwise, if it’s too general, chances are that you will steer away from what you initially wanted to discuss in your paper.

3. Take Notes

Taking notes is crucial when writing or researching for your research paper. And you shouldn’t just take notes anyhow; you should be systematic and organized in your note-taking. Remember that the only things you need to note down are the things that will add value to your research.

The best way of systemizing your notes is by colour coding notes for each topic. Highlighting using markers is a good way of finding whichever sections you need later on. If it’s allowed, you can photocopy the material that you need to make it easier, rather than having to go back to the entire journals and books when it’s time to write.

Additionally, if you decide to take the notes yourself, remember to also note the author, book title, page, and volume number as well as publisher name and other vital details like dates. This is called bibliographical information and is useful when citing your research.

4. Come up with an Outline

An outline comes after you are done with the research. Ideally, your research should give you an idea of how the sequence should be, making it easier for you to come up with an outline. With your research at hand, the next step is to brainstorm and find out where each topic fits in your research paper.

Essentially, the most important part of your outline is the sequence so it flows and is easy to understand. That means that you need to know which parts of your research will go into the beginning, the middle, and at the end of your research paper.

This is where you start to shape the direction of your paper.

5. Write a Draft

When you are done with the outline, proceed and start writing the first draft. With the outline in mind, build upon your research and jot down the ideas, forming sentences and paragraphs. At this point, you should be adding more detail and descriptions so it is both an interesting and informative read.

Of course, if you feel like you are lacking some information, you can always go back and research more. Because this will be the draft phase, you are free to make changes as you move along. 

6. Know Your Style Standard

Research papers have different writing styles depending on the college or professor’s preference. When researching and writing your paper, knowing which style you will be using helps you collect the right information, especially bibliographical details.

Whether you are writing in MLA, APA, Chicago, or any other style, you should check a handbook or resource to guide you on the styles best practices.

7. Proofread

Once you are done with your first draft, the next step is to read it, and in the process make changes, corrections and/or omissions where you deem necessary. You also ensure that you included the most important information and that your paper makes sense and flows throughout.

Typographical and grammatical errors should also be eliminated at this point, and so should spelling errors. Also, ensure that you cite all sources you used in your research with the bibliographical information we mentioned earlier.

When you are done, you can ask a friend or colleague to read through your final draft before making your submission. Of course, at times, you just don’t have the time to do all that. College paper world has all you need to get your research paper written and ready for submission when you just don’t know where, when, or how to begin!

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