(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?
Here’s a tip: Although the research paper format is fairly standardized, writing guidelines may vary not only among academic institutions but also among individual professors.
Pay attention to any how-to handouts you’ve received, and don’t forget to check your university’s writing lab for more resources.
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.If you’re writing to explain information, then your paper is expository.If you’re arguing a conclusion, then it’s argumentative or persuasive.A research paper is different from a research proposal (also known as a prospectus), although the writing process is similar.Research papers are intended to demonstrate a student’s academic knowledge of a subject.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.Without a well-thought-out thesis statement, your paper is likely to end up jumbled and with an unclear purpose. An outline will help you organize your thoughts before you dig into the writing process.Once you’ve developed your thesis statement, think about the main points you’ll need to present to support that statement. Now, organize your thoughts and information under each sub-heading.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.