A research paper is an in-depth analysis on a certain topic. It involves searching for sources relevant to the topic and analyzing these in order to create your own interpretation of your findings. The most basic question we need to address here is “How to write a college research paper?” Indeed, it is a very important question. Based from what we know from the definition of a research paper, we know that it involves a topic, sources and analysis. Here is the step-by-step procedure in answering the question “How to write a college research paper?”
Choosing a topic. This is the first and probably the most important step of the research process since it will be the deciding point on where you will proceed later on. Think about your topic properly. It could be something that interests you, something that you know about, or perhaps a relevant social issue. Avoid too broad or narrowed topics or topics that have been researched to death.
Brainstorming the topic. After selecting a topic, it is time to brainstorm on it. Jot down anything that comes to mind about the research topic and do a preliminary research on it. This will give you a general view on the availability of sources for your topic and whether or not you should continue it.
Making the outline. Once you already have a topic that had passed the first two steps, you can be rest assured that more or less that’s going to be a topic you can stick to. Proceed to do more research, this time using more sources of data such as the library, the Internet, newspapers, and magazines. Again, jot down all the data you see are relevant. Afterwards, have a sit-down session to organize your data into a logical sequence. The product of this would be the outline, or the skeleton of your research paper.
Write the first draft. It’s time to put some meat on your skeleton. Catch your reader’s attention using the introduction, maintain their focus by providing evidences or supporting details in the body and summarize your points in the conclusion.
Proofread and revise. Check for grammatical errors or errors in the organization or logic of your paper. Do more research as needed. Don’t hesitate to delete paragraphs of data and replace it with better material. Don’t stop making changes in your paper until you are certain that there is nothing more to change on your paper.
Document the sources. Give credit to whom it is due. List down all the references you used and arrange them using the MLA or APA format, whichever was specified and make sure all borrowed ideas are credited to its respective owners.
With these step-by-step procedures, answering the question “How to write a college research paper?” will be not as difficult as it would seem. This will not ensure a perfect paper, as none of us is perfect. Just learn to accept mistakes and grow with your writing.