How to Start a Research Paper
At least once during the student years every high school or college student has to complete a research paper. Unlike an essay, it can become a real challenge, as it requires not only personal thoughts on the subject but clear information, backed with credible sources and a logical structure. That is probably one of the main reasons why students want to know how to write a research paper.
Unfortunately, there are no classes, which would teach students the main aspects of completing academic assignments, so you will need to be very careful, while conducting the task on your own, as your paper will reflect your knowledge and an ability to analyze a huge volume of information.
Before learning how to start a research paper, it is better to find out the main tips and advices in order to eliminate the most common mistakes:
- Choose proper research paper topics. Make sure other students don’t choose the same subject and always try to stay original. You may ask your professor for help if you are not sure what to write about. Remember, the best way to provide an interesting and catchy paper is to be genuinely involved into the topic;
- Devote enough time to the research. The main goal of the whole assignment is to show your professor how well you can gather and analyze data, so it is always important to spend time at the library and surfing the web to find the best examples, important details and interesting quotes to back your ideas;
- Follow the structure. Unlike essays or reviews, you need to follow the structure of the paper accurately. Download a research paper example online, as it may greatly help you to build a proper structure;
- Use lively language. Despite the fact that it is an academic task and requires a scientific approach, you should try to make the language more vivid and dilute the paper with examples and other details, which will grab interest of the audience.
APA Research Paper Example
APA Research Paper Format
Research Paper Examples
Research Paper Outline Template
Research Paper Samples
Sample APA Research Paper
There are also a few common mistakes, which may greatly lower your overall scores and cause you a few sleepless nights, so you need to be very careful trying to avoid them by all possible means:
- Absence of credible sources. A big mistake is to copy information online without checking its relevance. Use only academic sources, like books, scientific articles and so on;
- Providing a sample research paper instead of original work;
- Wrong formatting. There are usually clear guidelines about what formatting style to use. Your professor may ask you to use apa or mla format research paper style, so pay careful attention to all the requirements.
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Research Paper Examples and Samples
When writing a research paper most students decide to use all the possible means to simplify the assignment and save some time and nerves. That is why they download a research paper outline template or a sample to follow the structure and tailor their own works according to a proper style.
Such examples may greatly contribute to the result and help the student to provide a proper assignment without any additional investments of time and money. However, you need to make sure that you download a sample only at a reputable website, which checks every paper properly. In such a way, you will protect yourself and won’t simply copy someone else’s mistakes.
Research Paper Outline and Format
It is impossible to write a such a task without creating drafts and outlines. That is why you need to pay careful attention to the research paper outline, as it will greatly simplify your future work and make the process of creating an assignment much simpler. The outline may greatly differ depending on your professor’s requirements, so you should first obtain all the guidelines. However, there are a few common rules and a regular structure of a research paper has the following pattern: introduction (thesis statement), body with arguments and conclusions.
If you want your paper to contain all the necessary information, have a clear structure and grab attention of the audience, you will need to follow a clear structure and provide all the necessary details to make sure your paper will be taken seriously. A proper structure consists of such elements, as:
- Title and authors. Use keywords and mark the main aspects of your topic;
- Abstract and table of contents. Help the reader understand the main goals of your research and provide him with relevant information on the structure of your work;
- Methodology, which was used throughout your research;
- Conclusions. Make sure you have marked the key points and goals to convey your ideas to the audience;
- Appendices with charts and images to back your information.
Research paper is quite a challenging task to complete but following a clear and proper structure will help you avoid all possible mistakes and will teach you how to gather and analyze information in a simple and fast way.
Major points are the building blocks of your paper. Major points build on each other, moving the paper forward and toward its conclusion. Each major point should be a clear claim that relates to the central argument of your paper.
Sample Major Point: Employment and physical health may be a good first major point for this sample paper. Here, a student might discuss how dropping out of high school often leads to fewer employment opportunities, and those employment opportunities that are available tend to be correlated with poor work environments and low pay.
Minor points are subtopics within your major points. Minor points develop the nuances of your major points but may not be significant enough to warrant extended attention on their own. These may come in the form of statistics, examples from your sources, or supporting ideas.
Sample Minor Point: A sample minor point of the previous major point (employment and physical health) might address worker injury or the frequent lack of health insurance benefits offered by low-paying employers.
The rest of the body of your paper will be made up of more major and minor points. Each major point should advance the paper's central argument, often building on the previous points, until you have provided enough evidence and analysis to justify your paper's conclusion.
More Major and Minor Points: In this paper, more major points might include mental health of high school dropouts, healthcare access for dropouts, and correlation between mental and physical health. Minor topics could include specific work environments, job satisfaction in various fields, and correlation between depression and chronic illness.