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Explain the purpose of your paper and how you plan to approach the topic. MORE INFO: Starting Your Research Paper: Writing an Introductory Paragraph Here’s where your outline will come in handy.As you’re writing, remember that your outline isn’t meant to be a prison—it’s a guideline to keep you on track.Create columns for elements you want to include in your paper as well as information necessary for your citations/bibliography.
The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and other university writing lab websites are excellent resources to help you understand what information you’ll need to collect to properly cite references.
Here’s a tip: Try storing your notes in a spreadsheet.
Any information that doesn’t fit within the framework of your outline, and doesn’t directly support your thesis statement, no matter how interesting, doesn’t belong in your research paper.
Keep your focus narrow and avoid the kitchen sink approach.
The thesis statement is important because it guides your readers from the beginning of your essay by telling them the main idea and supporting points of your essay.
—Purdue OWL – Developing a Thesis Most research papers begin with a thesis statement at the end of an introductory paragraph.Craft a strong opening sentence that will engage the reader. ) Describe how you’ve organized your approach to the topic.Just because you’re writing an academic research paper doesn’t mean you have to be dry and boring. Conclude the introductory paragraph with your thesis statement.Research will help you in several ways: As you read and evaluate the information you discover, take notes.Keep track of your reference materials so you can cite them and build your bibliography later.Most research papers fall into one of three categories: analytical, expository, or argumentative.If you’re presenting an analysis of information, then your paper is analytical.(You know, the one where you throw in every bit of interesting research you uncovered, including the fungal growth in the U-joint of your kitchen sink? The good news is, once you reach this point in the process you’re likely to feel energized by all the ideas and thoughts you’ve uncovered in your research, and you’ll have a clear direction because you’ve taken the time to create a thesis statement and organize your presentation with an outline.) Everything you learn may be fascinating, but not all of it is going to be relevant to your paper. Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing always looks great?A prospectus is a formal proposal of a research project developed to convince a reader (a professor or research committee, or later in life, a project coordinator, funding agency, or the like) that the research can be carried out and will yield worthwhile results.—Wichita State University Department of English Although we’ll focus more on the organization and writing of a research paper in this article, the research process is an important first step.