One of the most challenging and complicated assignments that young people are facing is writing a research paper. Whether you are a college or university student, you will probably be asked to accomplish this task.
What is the main objective of a research paper? This kind of scientific work requires not only having great knowledge on the topic you choose but being interesting, specific and demonstrate that whatever you are writing about is something you understand. Though there are a lot of different kinds of a literary research paper, and your goal is to define a particular issue, evaluate it and explain it from your point of view. You also may have provided evidence for a scientific statement, that is being investigated, or refute it with precise arguments.
The first, but the hardest, step to take is to choose a topic for your research paper. There can be some questions your teacher wants you to explore, but if you have to pick up the topic by yourself – here are some helpful suggestions on how to make the right choice.
At the beginning of your research, make sure you understood what has to be written. Read the assignment thoroughly and if you have some questions about the topic, don’t be afraid to ask for an explanation or help from your teacher. It may seem pretty obvious, but if you take the wrong direction in your writing, it will be practically impossible to change something, and you will have to start all over again.
Select a subject you will manage to cope with. It’s easy to find something interesting and fascinating but does not overestimate yourself. Be sure the information on that topic is familiar, and you won’t be sitting all night long in front of stacks of books and articles you don’t understand.
Interests and passions
Choose something that you always felt enthusiastic about. Usually, it is quite noticeable when a student is inspired by the topic he chose. He can be able to talk about it all the time and have millions of great ideas about how to solve some problem or find the ways to make the scientific research more accurate. Besides, your positive attitude towards the subject determines how much effort you put into your work.
And vice versa, the process can be hard and slow when the topic doesn’t appeal to you. You were never interested in that kind of art, for instance, and you don’t find it entertaining. No wonders, your research won’t be successful.
What are the resources you are going to use? Are you planning to spend some time in a library, surf the Internet pages, read some articles in a scientific magazine or learn more about your topic from works of other researchers? Whatever you choose is good enough to start writing the paper. After you have a list of all the sources that turned out to be helpful, it’s high time for you to evaluate them. Is the information that has been found is reliable and relevant? Be sure that the facts stated there are true and proved earlier by experts in that sphere.
It’s always better to pick up the topic; you can find a lot of interesting information about. But if you feel there is nothing you can use, it’s not too late to change the subject and choose another one.
A specific angle
Though, the resarch paper topics you are provided with can be of a broad spectrum, be able to focus on a limited aspect. Try to narrow down the area of your research. All you have to do if to define a specific angle you want to take and keep that direction until the very end.
Are you writing a research paper on geography? Focus on a particular part of the world, for example. Is your work in one of the countries? Pick some of the historical periods and explain your point of view, taking into consideration everything that was going on at that time.
Think out of the box
The grade you will receive for the college research paper fully depends on your creativity and interesting point of view. If the topic you want to choose is arid and something of a cliche, it’s not a good idea to keep on surfing the internet in search of something new. But if feel you could create unusual stuff – the world is your oyster.
Discuss the subject you are writing about with people who can correct the mistakes or might have interesting thoughts that didn’t occur to you at the beginning. Those people can be your friends, teachers, advisors or even librarians. Don’t be shy to ask what they think of your work and what can be changed or need to be taken out.
Also, talk to your classmates. If they chose the same topic, it’s not a reason to be upset. Maybe, you will manage to accomplish the task with better results than others. Communication about your upcoming research paper will give you a better understanding of what information will be used the most. Try to avoid plagiarism, rely on yourself.
Sitting in front of a computer with 10, 15 or even 20 blank pages is frightening. But as soon as you start writing, sentences will appear from nowhere. Plan all your steps. Start with collecting the sources you will use later, write down some interesting thoughts, think about what each abstract will be about and after gathering everything you need – start writing first words.
Your research paper is an excellent possibility to test your time management skills. Creating something that big needs you to be disciplined and spend a couple of hours each day to reach your goal. But as soon as you learn how to make time and your head work for you, there will say nothing impossible to do.