Steps to writing an academic research paper

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Steps to writing an academic research paper

Those strategies were meant for students who had already mastered the basics of performing research, not students just getting started doing research and writing papers. Is it any wonder that so many university students rely on Wikipedia as the first and last stop in their research itinerary?

I tell my students that the first step in writing a research paper is to admit you have a research paper. Write up a schedule with a series of milestones to accomplish by a specific date e.

Wikipedia is a great place to start your research — spend some time searching for keywords related to your topic, browsing the links you find on each page, and following their suggested resources.

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Take notes, especially of any good sources they recommend. By the time you get ready to write, though, you should have much better sources at your command than Wikipedia, so avoid citing it in your paper. You can usually skim through the bibliography and note down anything whose title sounds relevant to your research.

Have a research question in mind. Technically, your thesis should emerge from your research, when you have data in front of you. As you come across new material, ask yourself if it looks like it will help you answer your question.

Get one or two good sources for background your initial Wikipedia searching should be adequate in most cases and then keep focused by working towards an answer to your research question. Deal with one piece at a time. Get enough of a sense of the topic that you can create an outline of the things you need to understand, and then deal with each piece on its own.

Start your research with an idea of how you plan to collect and organize your notes and data. Spend some time getting to know what resources, both online and offline, your library to offer.

Most university libraries also subscribe to a number of academic databases, and most are now accessible online — get to know the research material you can access from home.

J-Stor, for instance, holds full-text photographic copies of hundreds of journals, all easily searchable. Use the human resources available to you as well as the material resources. Another often-overlooked resource is your friendly neighborhood librarian.

Steps to writing an academic research paper

Librarians are, in my estimation, the best people on Earth — they know the material in their charge forwards and backwards, they are deeply concerned with seeing it used, and they have committed their lives to making information more available. Most librarians will be happy to help you find relevant material for your project, and some will even locate specific pieces of hard-to-find information for you.

Carry an idea book. Keep a small notebook and a pen with you everywhere well, maybe not in the shower — although I do keep dry erase markers by the sink so I can write down quick thoughts on the bathroom mirror when I get out of the shower ; jot down notes whenever an idea crosses your mind, and transfer these notes into your research log or software, or whatever as soon as you can.

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Bring it up to date. If research in your topic seems to dry up a decade or so back, it might be because the field moved on, but it also might be because funding opportunities disappeared, a major researcher died, or any number of accidental reasons.

If so, you might try inter-library loan, or in some cases, try contacting the researcher herself and ask if they can send you a draft or reprint. These tips will help put a decent bibliography and a body of notes and data at your fingertips when you sit down to write up your paper.

A librarian or your professor can help, especially if you restrict yourself to books and journals available in your university library.

Perform a Literature Review

Remember, though, that until a few years ago, most of us managed to do research with no Internet at all!initiativeblog.com: Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps (): Margaret Cargill, Patrick O'Connor: Books.

What is a Research Paper? "Research paper." What image comes into mind as you hear those words: working with stacks of articles and books, hunting the "treasure" of others' thoughts?

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab serves writers from around the world and the Purdue University Writing Lab helps writers on Purdue's campus. How to Write a Research Paper.

Custom Paper Writing – Get top quality Custom written term papers, essays, dissertation, research papers, thesis and coursework by qualified professionals. Dec 03,  · How to Write an Argumentative Research Paper. An argumentative essay requires you to make an argument about something and support your point of view using evidence in the form of primary and secondary sources. The argumentative essay is a. Oct 13,  · When you are a part of the educational system, it is no doubt that you will be assigned some paper writing tasks. Your main goal in completing the tasks is t.

What is a research paper? A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular topic, and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings.

While listed as a singular step here, research is actually a fluid process that crosses several steps of writing a research paper.

Steps to writing an academic research paper

You will be doing preliminary research to find your topic and thesis. Academic writing is conducted in several sets of forms and genres, normally in an impersonal and dispassionate tone, targeted for a critical and informed audience, based on closely investigated knowledge, and intended to reinforce or challenge concepts or initiativeblog.com usually circulates within the academic world ('the academy'), but the academic writer may also find an audience outside via.

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