Guide to Completing a Good Research Paper with Ease

At one time in your student life, you will be required to write an academic paper based on your independent and original research on a topic of your choice and present your findings in a logical sequence. These pieces of academic writing are known as research papers and some people also call the college papers.

Most people often view writing a research paper as a complex task, and very few students look forward to this assignment. However, this is not true, and with the right attitude and some helpful tips, completing your research paper can be the easiest and most fun part of your course.

Guide to Completing a Good Research Paper with Ease

Here are six steps towards writing an excellent research paper:

1. Topic Selection

Selecting an interesting topic or idea for research is the first step towards coming up with a winning research paper. This topic should be an area that interests you. It should also be an area where you have identified some challenges, and you are convinced that your research on this topic will shed some light and provide solutions to the problems.

To make this possible, ensure that your idea is not too broad because you will not be able to exhaust it. An ideal topic should be focussed and have a specific study population or location.

2. Research the Topic

The second step is getting all the information you can about your selected topic. The information you find during this stage should help you to determine if your topic is viable, or if the problems you are seeking to solve have already been addressed by someone else.

Read through the works of other authors to see various global and regional approaches to your idea. Identify the unanswered questions by similar research and set out to solve them. You can find this information on the internet, university libraries, public libraries, magazines, journals, or from knowledgeable people in your area. This information is crucial because it forms the background of your study.

3. State Your Problem

Statement of the problem is also known as a thesis statement, and it expresses your position on the topic of your research paper. This step involves giving a summary of the information you gathered from the last step.

Here, you will introduce the problem you are seeking to solve. Summarizing this information should be done in one or two paragraphs, and the thesis statement should be written in one or two sentences. Thesis statements can be hard to formulate since they must express your entire argument using few words. It is therefore crucial that you take your time to come up with a great thesis statement because it provides the direction for your research and argument.

4. Outline Your Objectives

After stating your thesis, elaborate the objective of your research. You should have a general purpose which shows what your study seeks to accomplish in general terms. After stating the general objective, introduce specific goals which outline how you intend to carry out your research and how you will approach various aspects of your problem systematically.

Your specific goals should be realistic, measurable, and achievable within a reasonable time frame. An excellent research paper should have about 4 to 6 specific objectives.

5. Outline Your Research Paper

Having come this far, you now have a clear picture of the direction of your research, and hence you can write an outline of your final draft. A research paper outline gives the reader insight into the author’s systematic and chronological approach to their research topic. It should include the title, abstract, study background which serves as the introduction, the body of your research paper, and reference.

Based on the nature of this research paper, your body can include the methods you used to obtain information such as questionnaires and interviews, limitations, and the significance of your research. In some cases, your instructor might even require you to present your outline in the form of a diagram called a conceptual framework.

6. Write Your Research Paper

After outlining your research paper, you are now ready to write your masterpiece. Start with a draft and write down all your findings. Once your first draft is complete, use the outline to write the final essay and ensure that your thoughts and conclusions in the final piece flow systematically.

Final Thoughts

A great topic is the basis of an excellent research paper. Your topic should motivate and inspire you as you carry out your research. Selecting a topic that falls in line with your career interest, for example, is a brilliant idea.

Also, ensure that you read through your final draft to identify common errors such as spelling mistakes and to remove unnecessary words. After going through your work, it is also advisable to seek a second opinion from a friend who can help you identify any errors that might have escaped your notice.

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