The process of writing research papers is basically an investigative process on intelligently selected topics. As it implies, a vast amount of research is required, from which the writer must garner and gather together all of the solid facts he need, in order to produce a separate, concentrated informative document. The mass of relevant ideas, theories and solid facts that he has collected through his research must subsequently be thoroughly interpreted, criticized and analyzed, before they can even be brought together into a distinct and comprehensive conclusion. The difficulty in writing research papers rests in the skillful, professional manner in which the writer must introduce his own thoughts and ideas.
Thankfully, research papers are generally required to conform to specific formats, which make it easy for the student to create his outline, and plot his arguments neatly through to his final conclusion. The format adopted, however, must be one that has been stated by student’s tutor, as choosing the wrong one may mean the deduction of important points from the very start. Still, perhaps the most important initial factor in writing research papers is the topic chosen. In order to find an audience, research topics must be interesting, relevant, and should contain sufficient information to support their purpose.
The basic steps in formulating and writing research papers are the following:
- The Topic: As stated above, choosing the right topic may be considered one battle fully won.
- The Research: Using as many sources and types of data as possible, the student should create his own personal, carefully referenced database, which he will use as the basis, meat and context from which his paper will proceed. In writing research papers, the more extensive and detailed the research, the more successful a research paper is likely to be. Certainly the Internet should be widely consulted, though the contents of the college and even the local libraries should not be discounted.
- The Bibliography: From his personal database, the student should create an official bibliography to include in his research paper, consisting of that material that he is actually going to use. In writing research papers, the student may even use this new bibliography to create his research paper outline, by arranging the various sections of his researched material into headings and subheadings.
- The Format Requirements: All research formats will require the student to include a separate Title Page as well as a Table of Contents. The Title Page, for example, will include the student’s details, as well s the title of his project. The Table of Contents should be a detailed list of the headings and subheadings that the students has set out in his actual paper, to ease the reader’s journey through his arguments, as well as for ease of reference.
- The Editing: This process can never be highlighted enough, as it is therein that the student will be able to make the potentially brilliant changes that will tip the balance in favor of a successful piece of work. Spelling, grammar and sentence structure are only the basics that the student is urged to pay attention to, in his quest to submit a professional piece of academic writing.