The research papers are mainly considered as a form of academic writing. Research papers allow students to firstly, conduct research about the assigned topic, or gather information through different sources and then to come up with the pieces of evidence as support to all their findings. It is further compiled in an organized report. On the other hand, Manier times a research paper can also be referred to as a scholarly article. They generally involve the findings of original research which was conducted by someone else in the past.
The very basic aim of writing a research paper on a high level is to let the world know about all your findings and the results of your research. Whenever a new thing is discovered or invented it is issued in various journals all around the world where everyone can get access to it. But when a research paper is prepared by a student for academic purposes, its main purpose is to make students learn about all the scholarly works and to make them prepared on finding answers scientifically to any questions. They also learn the basic process of conducting any kind of research which may help them in the future.
Hence, many studies have suggested that making a research paper has a direct impact on the career of an individual. There are many unsaid advantages of preparing a research paper that may benefit an individual in near future. Some of these are, it helps in building an academic profile of an individual, it maximizes credibility, will enhances the existing knowledge, and most importantly it will improve the research and writing skills.
However, writing a research paper can be easy for some people and challenging for others. It highly depends on the level of existing knowledge about the topic. If an individual is well aware of the topic given then not a lot of research will be required, whereas, the case may be vice-versa also. Furthermore, there are a lot of guides given that are available stating the steps to write a research paper.
Some of the steps involved in preparing a research paper for beginners are:
1. Understanding the Task: Before starting the assignment, one needs to understand the given topic and gather basic knowledge about it. To understand the task sheet thoroughly following steps can be followed.
- Before starting the gear of the assignment one can read all the given instructions very carefully, and clarify all the doubts with the teacher/professor before starting with the research part.
- It is very important to recognize the main goal of the given assignment, and carefully check the deadline, formatting instructions, length specifications, and method of submission.
- Next, one can prepare a list stating the key points or the requirements of the task. It is a necessary step as once the research paper is completed; these points can be used to crosscheck whether everything is included or not.
2. Selecting a topic for a research paper: While conducting research, one can come across the number of topics that can be covered in the research paper. But the aim is to choose a topic or an idea that is original as well as specific. However, while preparing a research paper at the student level or for assignment purposes, the topic is pre-allotted to the students by their professors. Even in most cases, there can be a possibility that only a broad subject is been assigned to the students. In that case, the students are required to narrow down a topic of their interest which sets in the set of instructions given.
3. Conducting preliminary research: Preliminary research basically helps an individual to gain extra knowledge about the topic and the types of sources available that can be used for the purpose of research. While conducting research, an individual is advised to go through a variety of sources, such as journals, books, newspapers, and some reliable websites. It should be done so that no important point related to the topic is missed out. Moreover, during this research, an individual can look for a problem or an issue that other people might have overlooked, or any heated discussions which can be addressed in the research paper. One can also include any kind of developments made recently relevant to the chosen or given topic in the research paper.
4. Developing a thesis statement: The main aim of making a thesis statement is to state an idea of the central argument, it further communicates the purpose of the research paper. It is recommended that a thesis statement should be coherent, concise, and contentious. In a descriptive way it means, it should be able to briefly summarize the whole argument in very limited words, one can make a claim that will be further supported by pieces of evidence. Also, it is very important to make it coherent i.e., it should be relevant to each and every part of the paper. It is said that the thesis statement act as a guide while writing the research paper.
5. Creating an outline for a research paper: An outline of the research paper mainly includes the main topics or points covered, arguments, and supported documents which are included. All these are divided into various sections along with their headings. It is done to get a rough idea of the way the paper will look after the task is accomplished. This makes the writing process much easier and more efficient. Hence, it is highly recommended to make an outline before starting the main writing part.
6. Writing the first draft of the research paper: The findings suggest that the first draft of a research paper can not be perfect, it can be amended later on. But the main aim while writing it as a first draft is to express the ideas as clearly as crystal and to maintain a proper order of paragraphs and sentences so that it becomes easier to understand while preparing the second draft. The outline which was previously prepared can be used as a roadmap while preparing the drafts. The main focus while preparing the first draft should be the well-structured paragraphs. Every paragraph should be interlinked and there must be a smooth transition between the two paragraphs. Also, it is equally important to maintain the record of citations or sources used, or else it might turn out to be a big burden at last.
7. Writing the introduction part: The introduction of a research paper must be able to convince the reader to read further. It should be attractive and capable of engaging a reader. Just by going through the introduction, a reader must be able to figure out the main idea of the research paper and the things that will be included ahead.
8. Must include a compelling body of text: This is the most crucial part of the research paper; it is a part where the outline and the thesis statement can be used as a guide. During this stage, it is important to keep an eye on the paragraphs which somehow are covering the same thing, necessary amendments should be made in such paragraphs.
9. Writing a conclusion: While writing a conclusion in a research paper, one must make sure that all the findings and arguments are summarized in the proper form. Then further the main points or the key takeaways from the research paper must be mentioned.
10. Preparing the second draft: While preparing the second draft, some points must be kept in mind such as, there should be a space for rearrangements of ideas if required. It is important to develop a link between the first draft and this piece of writing. This stage mainly includes going through all the written material and checking it. It involves the removal of ideas that are no longer required or to make of necessary amendments to them.
11. Revising the written part: The basic aim of proofreading or revising a research paper is to make sure that all the requirements are met and all the necessary tasks are completed. It further ensures that the research paper is well-organized and everything is in its order. During the revision process, one must check that all the above-written content matches the requirements or instructions given in the task sheet. Should carefully examine the flow of all the paragraphs, it should not look either forced or unrequired. One of the most important steps during the revision process is to look for any kind of spelling or grammatical errors. The last step is to check the overall formatting of your work and to make sure that it is according to the instructions given.
12. Submission of research paper: Once an individual has gone through all the last-minute checks of the research paper and has made all the necessary changes. Now the work is ready to be submitted to the authorized person.
However, it can be concluded that many people, in general, undertake such research to find answers to specific questions, or to share their results, discoveries, or findings with the world. Whereas, the main aim of giving such assignments in colleges and universities is to make the students well-aware of the process of research writing, and to improve their analytical skills.