Research Paper Writing 101 – The Key to Effective Writing

Up until college you have probably had to write a few academic research papers, on the bright side, they were not usually assigned all that often.

Although most of you have only been back to class for a short time, you have likely had plenty of time to get a taste of the rather intensive college writing schedule. Although there are numerous types of writing assignments you will encounter, research papers are one of the most common. Below we are going to look at a few tips for writing better research papers.

Topic Selection- Choosing a topic that you are interested in is always a good starting point. Two problems arise from this though. The first is that you may choose a topic that is to narrow and finding readily available information will be difficult. The second problem occurs when your paper topic is limited by your professor, leaving you to research and write about a topic you despise. If you have the choice, always do some quick research before finalizing and committing to a topic to make sure you can find what you need. If the topic is chosen for you, find a unique angle that is interesting to you.

Planning the Outline- In many cases, history itself sets the outline for your paper. Writing in a chronological order is easy to follow and it will also make keeping your research straight and easier task. I like to start by reading through the content and then visualizing the key moments or turning points of the content, these are what I use to make an outline of the paper. This also ensures you will have plenty of supporting content to build upon when you do start writing.

Pulling it all Together – You have a topic and outline, now you need to fill in the spaces to make your paper a cohesive story. Writing a research paper is nothing more than telling a store based upon facts. If you write to tell a story, you will not just regurgitate the same information, you will bring the topic of the paper to life and with that, you will get the grade you need to do well in your class.

Remember, even if you are writing about a boring topic, you can make it interesting by using the facts to craft your story. If you need help gathering the facts of putting them together, we would be happy to help.


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