Writing a Research Paper
This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.
Contributors: Jack Raymond Baker, Allen Brizee, Ashley Velázquez
Last Edited: 2018-02-14 03:36:12
The Research Paper
There will come a time in most students' careers when they are assigned a research paper. Such an assignment often creates a great deal of unneeded anxiety in the student, which may result in procrastination and a feeling of confusion and inadequacy. This anxiety frequently stems from the fact that many students are unfamiliar and inexperienced with this genre of writing. Never fear—inexperience and unfamiliarity are situations you can change through practice! Writing a research paper is an essential aspect of academics and should not be avoided on account of one's anxiety. In fact, the process of writing a research paper can be one of the more rewarding experiences one may encounter in academics. What is more, many students will continue to do research throughout their careers, which is one of the reasons this topic is so important.
Becoming an experienced researcher and writer in any field or discipline takes a great deal of practice. There are few individuals for whom this process comes naturally. Remember, even the most seasoned academic veterans have had to learn how to write a research paper at some point in their career. Therefore, with diligence, organization, practice, a willingness to learn (and to make mistakes!), and, perhaps most important of all, patience, students will find that they can achieve great things through their research and writing.
This handout will include the following sections related to the process of writing a research paper:
- Genre- This section will provide an overview for understanding the difference between an analytical and argumentative research paper.
- Choosing a Topic- This section will guide the student through the process of choosing topics, whether the topic be one that is assigned or one that the student chooses himself.
- Identifying an Audience- This section will help the student understand the often times confusing topic of audience by offering some basic guidelines for the process.
- Where Do I Begin- This section concludes the handout by offering several links to resources at Purdue, and also provides an overview of the final stages of writing a research paper.
How To Write A Good Research Paper For English 101
Your first college English class and you’ve been assigned to write a research paper. It’s a good opportunity to make a good impression on your teacher. While some students don’t take this first assignment very seriously, others know that a good paper will get them started out on the right foot.
Essential Elements of a Good English Research Paper
When writing English research papers, half of the work is keeping to the required format. It’s useful to know what’s expected from the paper and also to include everything the teacher has requested.
Your English 101 paper should include:
- Choose an appropriate topic, which has the ability to be expressed in a research question. Unlike in dissertation, this question should be narrow enough to cover within the constraints of the essay. The author will take a stand or present a viewpoint on this question, which will then be supported with evidence given in the research paper.
- Conduct research to uncover sufficient supporting evidence from primary sources to back up your claims.
- Construct a compelling opening paragraph which introduces the research question, grabs the reader’s attention, but do not give away your standpoint as yet.
- Include the elements of exploration and reflection, which add an interesting dimension to the research data.
- A closing paragraph which restates the standpoint, summarizes the evidence and thoughts presented in the paper, and leaves the reader thinking and pondering what they have read.
How To Begin Writing Your Research Paper
The real secret to getting started with your research paper is just to start somewhere. Putting it off until the last minute will only add to the stress that essay writing usually invokes. There are a lot of choices open to students these days for essay writing. Those choices include writing the entire essay yourself, hiring an expert writer from an essay writing service to do it for you, or a combination of the two.
It is a very common practice among students to do some of the essay writing work and then hire out the rest. For example, you could hire someone to do the research (by simply buying a paper) – find the literature required for your topic – and then you could proceed with the writing. Alternatively, you could do the research, write the essay and then hire someone to proofread and edit your written work. It always comes down to a choice. Whichever method you choose, the sooner you get started the better.