We may have many great ideas for a certain assignment, but we can feel pretty lost when it comes to getting started with the writing — we don't always know where and how to write the beginning sentences. To avoid frustration, you can start out with a mind dump and just dump your random thoughts onto paper.
For this exercise, you should dump your thoughts onto paper in small text boxes. Imagine that your writing assignment is to explore symbolism in the childhood tale of "Little Red Riding Hood. Your cursor will turn into a cross-like shape that you can use to draw a box. Create a few boxes and begin writing random thoughts inside each one.
You can format and arrange the boxes later. At first, you don't have to worry about which thoughts represent major topics and which represent subtopics. After you've dumped all your thoughts onto paper, you can start to arrange your boxes into an organized pattern. You will be able to move your boxes around on the paper by clicking and dragging.
How to Write Research Paper . . . and Get an A+
Once you have exhausted your ideas by dumping them into boxes, you are ready to identify the major themes. Decide which of your boxes contain major ideas, then begin to line them up on the left side of your page. You can also use color as an organization tool. Text boxes can be edited in any way, so you can add background colors, highlighted text, or colored frames. To edit your text box, just right-click and select edit from the menu.
Continue to add text boxes until your paper is completely outlined — and perhaps until your paper is completely written. You can select, copy, and paste text into a new document to transfer the words into paper paragraphs. Because text boxes give you so much freedom when it comes to arranging and rearranging, you can use this method for organizing and brainstorming any project, big or small.
This statement is a road map for the research paper, telling the reader what to expect. It usually consists of a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph and makes a claim that others might later dispute!
How does a research paper differ from a research proposal?
For optimal organization, take the time to write an outline that indicates the main aspects to be discussed. This includes deciding on the order of your sub-topics and which key points you will use as evidence to support your position. It should, therefore, have a logical organization. If the paper is long, it is a good idea to partition the body into sections using headings and sub-headings. This includes using parenthetical citations when referencing another author's work in the body of your text.
The introduction is the key to letting your readers know where you are headed and what you hope to accomplish.
Therefore, the introduction should acquaint them with the journey ahead, making it easier for them to understand what follows and helping to improve their evaluation of your work. Tell your readers in concise terms what the subject of the paper is, what it is that you hope to find out, and how you will go about doing so.
Your analysis should appear throughout. A common ESL mistake is reciting facts in the body of their essay and then waiting until the conclusion to say what they mean. Good research papers bring data, events, and other material together, interpreting the facts throughout. The conclusion should summarize what you have said in the body and should stress the evidence that supports your analysis.
Once your research paper is finished, compile your reference list. This is an alphabetical listing of all the sources you referenced in the body of your paper. If you made notes about your sources, this task should be straightforward. Be sure to follow whatever style guide your professor or school recommends. Double-check everything. Ensure you have correctly cited your sources, checked your spelling and grammar, and re-read your paper several times, checking for sense, logical structure, and organization. Readers will judge your paper not only on the quality of research, but also on the quality of the writing.
Ta da! You've done it—your research paper is complete! Just think about what you've learned: not just about your subject, but about the whole investigative process. You're writing an essay, and you want a good grade, or at least to make yourself understood. How can you make this easier for your reader?
When embarking on a research paper or term paper, think of yourself as a detective. You will not only search for information, but also delve into the whys and wherefores behind the subject material, seeking to provide elucidation through your written analysis. Movie buffs and bookworms can tell a bestseller from a dud within the first few moments.
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The same is true of any thesis statement you write. Back to Advice and Articles. We respect your email privacy. English is not my first language. I need English editing and proofreading so that I sound like a native speaker. I need to have my journal article, dissertation, or term paper edited and proofread, or I need help with an admissions essay or proposal. I have a novel, manuscript, play, or ebook.