Whether in high school or college, often one is required to develop a research paper for an assignment. Research paper writing has a specific focus and should not be confused with essays or thesis writing.
A research paper is not designed to offer new evidence or report on developing work but as a collation and presentation of existing work. The research is to uncover existing knowledge of a topic and synthesize a focused and coherent report on this subject. A research paper is not intended to prove a hypothetical point but to present an existing fact.
There are three directions you can take in designing your research paper. A simple analytical approach discusses the major points of your subject, evaluates them each in turn and then concludes with an evaluation of the research to the reader. An expository research paper does not so much offer altering viewpoints on your topic as it seeks to inform and explain what the subject matter is.
A much more involved research paper is the argumentative form. In this type of research paper you pick a point of view and present your research findings to prove your opening statements. One thing the person writing the research paper must be mindful of through the entire process is that they stay on focus. If the subsequent research convinces you to modify the original statement of purpose, you will have to revise your opening arguments and any other parts of your paper that this change entails.
Another aspect of research paper writing that is of the utmost importance is in keeping your source information accurate. A research paper is not creative writing and you will need to reference the sources of your facts and credit information used to their originators. There are several style sheets available for the proper footnote marking and systems of regulating the presentation of your source material. This formula is different for various institutions so checking for the authorized style sheet before starting the actual composition is very important. Those who grade the research paper will be especially critical of this area. It is essential you have your facts accurate and provable.
Once you have finished the first draft of your research paper it is a good idea to let it sit for awhile and then come back to reread it in an objective manner. No one is able or expected to be letter-perfect through the first writing. The cooling off period is necessary to take you far enough from the original creation that you can see within a later viewing any areas that need revision to tighten up to presentation of your information. While you can proofread your work to some degree, it is always recommended that you obtain a second person to proof it as well. They may catch grammar or typographical errors that have fallen into a “blind spot” for the original writer.
Critical areas of review at this point are the transition areas between proof points and that you have refined the data to a tight focus. Here you can see if certain patterns of extraneous words have “fluffed” your writing and you can eliminate the unnecessary wording.
The final part of research paper writing is to put your final version on the paper (or the required computer file format) that your specific institution requires. Even the presentation of the physical artifact of your research paper can have some weight on its final acceptance or rejection.
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