A theory, according to the New Oxford Dictionary of English, is a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something. A theoretical paper will use frameworks. If based on research, a paper should rely less on external sources.
Pick a citation style your instructor may assign one , and use it consistently. In order to avoid accusations of plagiarism, you must cite external sources. Finally, always place the works cited or bibliography list for references at the end of the paper. Do not write a research paper as a collection of your opinions. For example, a paper about how much you love television is a personal essay rather than a research paper. Instead, after researching the literature on television, you could write a paper on its social impact.
A research paper starts with extensive reading, not a casual browsing of literature. If you do not read, you will not know your topic. In your paragraph, explain what you wanted to research, how you performed the research, and what you learned as a result. No matter what field of study you are interested in, you will most likely be asked to write a research paper during your academic career. Similarly, a student in a psychology course might write a research paper about current findings in childhood development.
Having to write a research paper may feel intimidating at first. After all, researching and writing a long paper requires a lot of time, effort, and organization. However, writing a research paper can also be a great opportunity to explore a topic that is particularly interesting to you. The research process allows you to gain expertise on a topic of your choice, and the writing process helps you remember what you have learned and understand it on a deeper level.
Knowing how to write a good research paper is a valuable skill that will serve you well throughout your career. Whether you are developing a new product, studying the best way to perform a procedure, or learning about challenges and opportunities in your field of employment, you will use research techniques to guide your exploration. You may even need to create a written report of your findings. And because effective communication is essential to any company, employers seek to hire people who can write clearly and professionally.
Take a few minutes to think about each of the following careers. How might each of these professionals use researching and research writing skills on the job? A medical laboratory technician or information technology professional might do research to learn about the latest technological developments in either of these fields.
A small business owner might conduct research to learn about the latest trends in his or her industry. A freelance magazine writer may need to research a given topic to write an informed, up-to-date article.
Think about the job of your dreams. How might you use research writing skills to perform that job? Create a list of ways in which strong researching, organizing, writing, and critical thinking skills could help you succeed at your dream job.
How might these skills help you obtain that job? How does a research paper grow from a folder of brainstormed notes to a polished final draft? No two projects are identical, but most projects follow a series of six basic steps.
These are the steps in the research writing process:. Each of these steps will be discussed in more detail later in this chapter. For now, though, we will take a brief look at what each step involves.
As you may recall from Chapter 8 "The Writing Process: How Do I Begin? You may also need to ask a specific research question A broad, open-ended question that a writer uses to guide the research process. In the research paper, the writer attempts to answer the question thoughtfully. A working thesis statement may change during the writing process. In a research proposal, you present your main research question, any related subquestions you plan to explore, and your working thesis.
Before you start researching your topic, take time to plan your researching and writing schedule. Research projects can take days, weeks, or even months to complete. Creating a schedule is a good way to ensure that you do not end up being overwhelmed by all the work you have to do as the deadline approaches.
During this step of the process, it is also a good idea to plan the resources and organizational tools you will use to keep yourself on track throughout the project. Flowcharts, calendars, and checklists can all help you stick to your schedule. See Chapter 11 "Writing from Research: What Will I Learn? When going about your research, you will likely use a variety of sources—anything from books and periodicals to video presentations and in-person interviews.
Your sources will include both primary sources Research sources that provide raw information or data without commentary or interpretation, such as surveys, interviews, and historical documents. Scholarly journals and magazine articles are usually considered secondary sources. Primary sources provide firsthand information or raw data. The writer should be very clear that what particularly he desires to be taught about the research topic.
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The Purpose of the Paper One of the major parts of developing any research paper is defining the research paper question. This article is a part of the guide.
Research results can be presented in a variety of ways, but one of the most popular—and effective—presentation forms is the research paper. A research paper presents an original thesis, or purpose statement, about a topic and develops that thesis with information gathered from a variety of sources.
The statement of purpose is the topic of the research paper in some required detail. It is the problem or purpose statement around which the whole research paper revolves. The statement of purpose keep you stick to a specific . A research paper should present a topic based on reading and/or investigation. While the length may vary, keep focused on the substance of your arguments. The style of a research paper depends on the topic, and citations vary with the discipline. However, every paper contains an introduction, key arguments and a.
A research paper presents an original thesis, or purpose statement, about a topic and develops that thesis with information gathered from a variety of sources. If you are curious about the possibility of life on Mars, for example, you might choose to research the topic. The purpose of a research paper is, quite simply, to present an investigation and inquiry into a question, answering it with detailed, substantiated information.