Suggestions on How You Should Write Research Papers

Research papers can be very stressful for students, as they typically represent long-term projects which are suitably complex. The following suggestions can be very helpful for students who are writing a research paper.

  1. Come up with a strong thesis statement before beginning research.

    Many students begin their research without a clear goal, which can confuse or demotivate them during the process. They’re reluctant to write a thesis statement ahead of time, because they don’t know enough about the topic as of yet. However, having a clear thesis statement when one begins researching can help to focus research, and it’s perfectly okay to adjust the thesis statement as one continues researching. At this point in the process, it’s merely a tool to help the student focus and delve deeper into the topic. Very few professional researchers complete their papers with the exact same thesis they had in mind when they started; this is a natural part of the research process.

  2. Identify themes during research.

    The next thing students should do is start to identify themes they are coming across as they research. Some of these themes will be especially helpful in supporting (or debunking) their thesis statement, and students should use these themes to further focus their research. When they’ve identified a number of themes that they believe will help in organizing their paper, they should begin organizing their notes into sections according to these themes.

  3. Use the themes encountered in research to refine the thesis statement and create an outline.

    The themes the student used to organize their notes will give them a good idea of how they can now refine their thesis statement to match the paper they’re about to write. Once they’ve polished their thesis statement, they can create an outline of the body of the research paper. Each major theme should represent one section of the paper. Students should make an outline for each section.

  4. Write a rough draft of the main part of the research paper.

    By writing the body of the paper first, students ensure that when they write the introduction and conclusion, they will be able to easily organize these pivotal parts of the paper. They’ll also be able to write an introduction that easily and accurately sums up the body of the paper, because they already have the body of the paper to work with.