Academic writing is one of the most challenging aspects of being a student. There are often different types of projects, ranging from simple five-paragraph essay to more complex research papers and dissertations. Unlike most projects, research papers require extensive planning, research, analysis, and proofreading, most students find them challenging.
To score highly on your project, you have to address every aspect of the prompt provided by your instructor.
To score highly on your project, you have to address every aspect of the prompt provided by your instructor. If you find this type of assignment challenging, don’t panic. In this article, we offer useful tips for students who want to create spectacular research papers for college.
- Choose a Good Topic
The selection of an appropriate topic may be the most important element of effective academic writing. In fact, it is postulated that, if you create a good topic, you have already completed half the task. An ideal topic considers your audience as well as your interests. Before you can decide on what to write on, you have to read the assignment prompt and make sure that you have understood the requirement.
Of course, there will be times when your instructor will provide a list of topics to choose from. In other instances, there will be freedom to make your own choice within specified parameters. Just make sure that your topic is relevant and narrow enough to be completed within the word count required by your instructor. You can always get writing assistance from an online essay writer if you get stuck at this stage of your project.
- Read and Understand the Instructions
It is not possible to write quality research papers if you don’t understand what your instructor wants you to do. The requirements will be outlined in a prompt. Read it and seek clarification from your professor if needed. Don’t start writing or researching if you have no idea what is expected.
- Brainstorm and Plan Appropriately
A good research paper stems from a well-articulated plan. Once you have understood what your instructor expects, it is time to start planning your research paper. Begin by brainstorming and noting down everything you already know about the topic. These notes can be used later to create an outline for your research paper. Outlining may seem like a hard task at first, but it will save you time in the long run. By having the main ideas for your paragraphs, research and writing will move much faster.
- Research and Start Writing as Soon as Possible
There is no need for planning if you will not have enough time to create your paper. Make sure that you start working on your initial draft as fast as you can. As you write your first copy, don’t stress so much about issues relating to grammar and spelling. You will need to create time for editing and proofreading much later.
As you research, create notes on the sources of your information. It will help you with citations. Also, make sure to present the information in your own words through paraphrasing, limiting direct quotes as much as possible.
- Use Credible Evidence and Cite Sources
Research papers require the use of data and evidence from reliable sources. Sometimes, your professor will clearly indicate what type of materials to use at your level. Other times you will be given the freedom to make your own judgment. You can use a combination of secondary and primary sources, as long as the information contained therein is proven. We always suggest that students use a combination of sources, including peer-reviewed journals, verified books, and reputable websites. Make sure the information you use for your paper is credible and up-to-date.
Also, colleges now prioritize originality. It means that the work you write should your own. Any information you take from other sources has to be accurately cited using the appropriate style. Your instructor will inform you whether to use the APA, MLA, AMA, Turabian, or Chicago approaches. Just make sure to follow the guidelines and check out for the consistency in style.
- Make Time for Proofreading and Editing
One of the most important stages when writing any academic research paper is editing. It is also one of the most ignore phases of research. Students spend so much time gathering information for their project but only rush through reading their final drafts, missing serious formatting, and citation mistakes that can be costly. We suggest taking a break from your writing before you get back to do the editing. If possible, ask for proofreading assistance from a friend or family member.
Effective research paper writing at the college level can be easy if you plan appropriately. Create connections between your paragraphs and ideas. Also, find time for proofreading.