As an essay writer can tell you, coming up with a quality paper is not as simple as it sounds. Often, a hefty grant depends on the success of a good research proposal. A research paper can be your pitch to investors, attracting attention and justifying your request for funds.
You will be assigned to write research papers way before you ever get a job in academia. Students are often given such tasks to “sharpen their claws” and exercise their rhetorical, writing, and research skills.
If you were to describe these papers in as few words as possible, you would say that they are meant to persuade someone of the merits of a certain project or academic endeavor.
This article will analyze the general process of writing a research paper.
Before We Begin
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Length and Properties
What are the goals of your research paper? What are its properties and what guidelines should be followed?
Of course, the first characteristic is relevance. You should do your best to convince the reader that your proposal is relevant and important. Everything hinges on this fact because an interesting yet useless topic will not receive the desired funds.
Then, you will need to demonstrate awareness. You aren’t writing this from inside a void. You have a field of study, with contradicting opinions. Cite possible objections or arguments against your thesis. Also, quoting precedence and other cases further convinces readers that you are knowledgeable.
The writer of a research paper also needs to pay close attention to methodology. Do not be sloppy. Some papers look like a disorganized pile of arguments. Take care to mention the methods, instruments, sample sizes, control groups, and everything that went into the conclusion.
Finally, there is the pragmatic point. We live in the real world, and not a hypothetical one. There are constraints everywhere: from local laws to budget limitations, to weather and seasonal changes, to politics and social factors.
You will need to keep these issues in mind and present a work-around for a pragmatic application.
The Title Page and the Table of Contents
You’re playing with the big boys now, so your papers have to reflect that reality. The title page must look professional, and be sure to include a table of contents as well.
Title pages should include the name of the paper, your name, the name of your supervisor, and the name of your university.
Depending on the academic level of your writing, the paper can get quite long (especially for PhD-level works). The reader should be able to utilize the table of contents to successfully navigate the page.
A successful intro is very sensitive to length. If the intro is too long, it risks looking like an argument or premise. An intro that is too brief will fail in making the proper introduction and lose the reader’s attention.
Reach a happy middle ground between brevity and informational quality.
In addition, provide some context and background, and mention in passing all of the subjects that will be covered by your paper.
Present a Reasonable Argument
Do not attempt to be heavy-handed in your argumentation, cherry-picking only the points that help your premises. Your readers will most likely be subject matter experts, who are aware of contradicting studies or trends.
Present both sides of the issue, even the counter-arguments. If your thesis is indeed true, it should prevail. Be sure to include and mention sources.
It is just as vital to tear down opposing arguments and pay attention to them, as it is to explain your own.
The inclusion of a bibliography is essential from the start.
If you have an assignment as a student, you have plenty of other things to worry about. Unlike your teachers who need to focus on a singular subject, you have several. The temptation is to save time by skipping essential steps that seem unimportant.
In this rush, many sit down and start writing, improvising as they go along. This results in an asymmetrical paper that looks sloppy.
The proper structure must be planned out before you ever set pen to paper, or sit down at your keyboard. By doing this, you can allocate about the same number of words to every argument. It doesn’t need to be the exact same word count, but the different sections and subheaders should be relative to each other.
Invest in Quality
Typos are a force of nature. There are few books or thesis in print that do not have mistaken, despite their editors and proofreaders. Even though we all make them, certain errors will make your work seem less than qualitative.
If you can afford it, you can hire a proofreader and editor from the previously mentioned online essay sites. But if you have to write a ton of papers, the cost will be tremendous. This is a solution for a one-off task.
For a more consistent output, it is possible to invest in spell check software. Some applications promise to verify not only misspelled words but also check for plagiarism, tone, misused words, and so on.
Constructing an argument is one of the most important skills that you will ever learn. It is useful in all domains of life, but especially in Academia and Business. A research paper’s primary purpose is to convince an investor, and entire careers can be enhanced by additional funds.
However, as an additional benefit, you will also get to practice argumentation and academic writing. This is why your teachers will assign you these tasks, even though you have yet to graduate.