The research paper is one of the most important academic assignments. The student’s research work includes the formulation of problems, the choice of effective solutions, the accumulation and analysis of the initial information, the determination of the basic ideas, the conduct of experiments or the development of basic provisions, the formulation of conclusions, and the presentation of the developed proposals.
The topic of work is usually offered by the supervisor. Most often this is a scientific direction, which is already being conducted at the department. Sometimes, a student comes up with his idea; if it lies in the mainstream of the scientific directions of the faculty, it can also lead to scientific research. Often, the research is used later for the master’s thesis. If you feel puzzled and don’t know how to start your paper, follow the step-by-step guide below and you will definitely succeed in completing your research paper before the deadline.
Step 1: Pick Up the Best Topic
The choice of a paper topic isn’t the easiest thing. The well-chosen topic is a key to success. How to find the best theme for your research? First, you should define the subject field and then brainstorm several ideas. Make notes and choose the most suitable one taking into account certain criteria. The topic should be actual containing valuable research that can be useful for other scholars. It is better to give preference to the topic you know better than others or at least would like to research. Taking into account that the paper writing will take you a certain period of time, it will be better if you feel passionate about the chosen theme.
You should look for some scientific problem. The research problem as a category suggests research of the unknown in science that is to be discovered, proved, studied from new positions. The problem is associated with the difficulty and uncertainty. To eliminate the problem, actions are required, first of all, actions aimed at investigating everything related to this problem situation. Searching for problems is not an easy task. It is often more difficult and instructive to find a problem than to solve it.
Don’t pick broad topics. The reason is that you won’t be able to conduct a thorough research. It is recommended to narrow it and to consider in detail. If you don’t have any good ideas, you have a great opportunity to look for the topic on the Internet. Remember that the topic should original and interesting not only for you but for the reader.
Step 2: Identify the goal of your research
The goal is formulated succinctly and precisely, in a semantic sense, expressing the main thing that the researcher intends to do. As a rule, the goal begins with verbs: “find out,” “identify,” “form,” “justify,” “hold,” etc. The goal is concretized and developed in the research tasks. Tasks can reflect a certain step-by-step achievement of the goal, a sequence of actions. Solving the problem allows you to go through a certain stage of research. The formulation of problems is closely related to the structure of the research, and individual problems can be posed both for the theoretical and for the experimental part of the study.
Step 3: Look for the relevant topic information
It is high time to start looking for the information. Take into account that you need to use only reliable sources. The Internet covers all topics, however, sometimes, you may face a problem when you need to find very specific data, statistics, or any other details and facts that should be provided for your research paper. You may find the necessary information everywhere, even in those sources where you don’t expect to find it.
Conduct the careful research and use only the trustworthy sources because it is very important to have the well-grounded paper. Not only the Internet can be used as a source of information. If you have time, you can go to the library as well. If the only source of information is the Internet, make sure you use sites, which name contains edu., gov. Educational sites and sites for researchers with the online library is the best choice.
Step 4: Write a thesis statement
The thesis statement is a sentence or two, where you provide a brief description of the whole paper. The reader should understand what the research is going to be about. Your task is to make it bright and eye-catching. You should ensure that it reflects the main idea of the work in the best possible way. A thesis should be written in the introductory part. If your paper is long, then it is possible to place it at the beginning of the second paragraph but not later. Take this into account and don’t forget to work on your statement providing powerful arguments to your position.
In order to write a really good statement, you should define the object and the subject of your research. The object of research is an area within which the study of a set of relationships, relations, and properties is being conducted as a source of information necessary for the researcher.
The subject of the study is more specific and includes only those relationships that are subject to direct study in this paper, it establishes the boundaries of scientific search in each object. The subject is always studied within the framework of an object.
In order not to evade the chosen topic, it is necessary to clearly and accurately imagine the purpose and objectives of the research. Their definition will allow the student to collect and process the material more with the greater dedication.
Step 5: Write a detailed outline
Getting to work on the topic, it is very important to have its plan, at least in the most general form. It will help you to find, collect, accumulate primary sources on the topic. As the study and initial acquaintance with literature are adopted, the plan will undoubtedly be modified. However, the indicative plan will provide an opportunity to link a variety of information into a single whole. Therefore, such a plan must be drawn up as early as possible, and in its compilation the help of the supervisor is indispensable.
1. Title page of research work
2. The content of the research work
3. Introduction of the research paper: In the Introduction of the research work, the relevance of the selected topic is substantiated, the object, the subject of research and the main problems are determined, the goal and content of the tasks are formulated, and the novelty of the research (if any) is stated. In this chapter, the methods of research are determined, the theoretical and practical significance (if there is a practical part) of the work is substantiated.
Structure of the Introduction of Research Work:
- The relevance of the research project
- Object and subject of research
- The purpose of the research work
- Research tasks
- Methods of research work
- Theoretical significance of the work
- The practical significance of the work
4. Historical background on the problem of research work
5. The main part of the research work
- Search for necessary information for the research.
- The choice of ideas and options, their analysis.
- The choice of material, methods for conducting research.
6. Conclusion (short conclusions on the results of research work, assessment of the completeness of the solution of the tasks) It consistently outlines the results obtained, determines their relationship with the overall goal and specific tasks formulated in the introduction, gives a self-assessment of the work done. In some cases, you can specify ways to continue researching the topic, as well as specific tasks that must be addressed in this case.
After the conclusion, it is necessary to write the list of the literature used at the performance of research work. Each source included in it must be reflected in an explanatory note. Do not include in this list works that were not actually used.
8. Applications (diagrams, graphs, diagrams, photographs, tables, maps).
Auxiliary or additional materials that clutter the bulk of the work are placed in applications. Each application should start with a new page with the word “Application” in the upper right corner and have a thematic title. If there is more than one application in the work, they are numbered with Arabic numerals (without the “No.” sign), etc. Its connection with the applications is made through links that are used with the word “look” (see), enclosed together with the cipher in parentheses.
If you strictly adhere to the plan of research work, the work will comply with all norms and requirements.
Step 6: Think of the methods that should be used for your research
1. Methods aimed at the theoretical study of the problem, for example, the study of literary sources, written, archival materials;
2. Methods that provide practical results of the study of the problem: observation, conversation, questioning.
The methods of research provide greater accuracy and depth of study of the selected problem, ensure the solution of the tasks set in the work.
Step 7: Write the paper draft
Now you have successfully taken six steps and can continue writing a draft version of your research paper. This is useful as usually, writers have a flow of words when knowing that this is just a draft and it is not problematic to change those parts that don’t sound fine. You may have several drafts and make all necessary corrections.
Take into account that this step is vital also because you can’t submit a paper containing any kind of spelling or grammar mistakes. After you have written the paper draft, you should proofread it and edit. The draft helps to write final version without mistakes, which could spoil your grade.
Step 8: Craft the final research paper variant
Now it is high time to type the final variant if you have checked out the draft, edited and proofread it. It is a good idea to write checklists before you start writing a final variant. The checklist is helpful for focusing on important things. It saves your time and makes the whole process of writing more disciplined and organized. After you have finished composing a draft, you should make a checklist with the significant questions. They will help you to define whether you did your best or there is something that should be improved. For example, the list can look like this:
- Have I stuck to the structure of the research paper?
- Have I reached the goal I set in the very beginning?
- Have I used all information sources I mentioned in the bibliography?
- Have I formatted the paper in the proper way?
- Is the paper free from errors?
- Are there logical connections between all parts of a paper?
- Does my paper reflect the main idea of the topic?
The number of questions in the checklist can vary. However, it is better to include all above-mentioned points in your checklist to make sure that you did a good job. If you follow the tips and organize your work, then you will definitely pass your research paper with flying colors. Read 4 research paper tips.