When studying at higher levels of school and throughout college, you will likely be asked to prepare research papers. A research paper can be used for exploring and identifying scientific, technical and social issues. If it’s your first time writing a research paper, it may seem daunting, but with good organization and focus of mind, you can make the process easier on yourself. Writing a research paper involves four main stages: choosing a topic, researching your topic, making an outline, and doing the actual writing. The paper won’t write itself, but by planning and preparing well, the writing practically falls into place. Also, try to avoid plagiarism.
Types of Research Papers
Argumentative Research Paper
The argumentative research paper consists of an introduction in which the writer clearly introduces the topic and informs his audience exactly which stance he intends to take; this stance is often identified as the thesis statement. An important goal of the argumentative research paper is persuasion, which means the topic chosen should be debatable or controversial.
Taking one side of an issue or topic is the central point of an argumentative research paper. Your stance is built into the thesis statement, which makes the argument you feel is more logical for the given topic. The biggest goal of this type of paper is to convince your readers to agree with your point of view by backing up your position with a logical argument supported by facts and information from credible sources. An argumentative research paper does not simply demand readers agree with you based solely on your opinion. Instead, careful and structured research is used to demonstrate the viability of your argument by providing information that allows readers to draw the same logical conclusion.
Analytical Research Paper
The analytical research paper often begins with the student asking a question (a.k.a. a research question) on which he has taken no stance. Such a paper is often an exercise in exploration and evaluation. Forming a research question is the basis of an analytical research paper. The question is neutral and provides direction for you to evaluate and explore the topic as it relates to answering the question. Your thesis statement presents the research question, and the remainder of your paper supports your thesis. This type of research paper is not a simple regurgitation of information. Instead, it is your thoughts, conclusions, and evaluations of a topic that is backed up with logical information.
Steps Involved in Writing a Research Paper
- Discovering, narrowing, and focusing on a researchable topic or research question.
- Finding, selecting and reading research materials or sources.
- Grouping, sequencing, and documenting information from the research materials and sources.
- Writing an outline as well as a prospectus for yourself.
- Writing the introduction of the research paper.
- Writing the body paragraphs of the research paper.
- Writing the conclusion of the research paper.
- Revising the final draft to eliminate any errors.