By: Lauren Beth Kelly
In this article, I will hopefully help you compose a research paper. Of course, there are other nuances not mentioned here which can also be implemented. But ultimately, your resulting product should both ask and answer a question, as well as include appropriate documentation of facts.
Your thesis statement should summarize your main points into one or two sentences while presenting the topic of your paper with your related position. It should also help guide your writing to keep your argument focused.
First, determine your main points. They will support your thesis statement. Next, list the main points. You can label them in Roman Numerals (I, II, III), with numbers (1, 2, 3), or with letters (A, B, C). This is also known as an outline.
Many people work well using an outline to first organize their ideas before composing the finished product. In an outline, you should list your supporting ideas or arguments for each main point. Then, continue to subdivide each supporting idea.
Ideas to support your main points can include:
The basic structure of a research paper includes an introduction, hypothesis, methods, findings, discussion, conclusion, and a works cited page.
In your Introduction, describe what you intend to show or argue and why it’s important. This includes defining terms and footnoting your sources.
Your Hypothesis describes your test to determine validity. Support why you think it will work.
Methods describe your test procedure as completely as possible, and list variables that are used.
Findings list and describe all numeric data, such as statistical findings.
Within your Discussion, develop your argument by interpreting your data: include how it validates your hypothesis, how it impacts the literature you cited, and if further research is needed.
In the Conclusion, restate your findings in order to simplify complexity and provide a summation.
The Works Cited page should use the proper format, perhaps that which your instructor has assigned. For example, MLA or APA.
In terms of formatting, an MLA or APA style can be used. Fundamental formatting techniques often include:
In terms of research, use the most appropriate methods – such as interviews or surveys — and keep track of your sources.
Using the internet to execute research can sometimes be more efficient and convenient than a library. However, the Internet is not regulated for accuracy. Moreover, it is often difficult to determine authorship. Therefore, the responsibility is on the user to evaluate resources.