The first question that comes to the minds of most freshman students is how to start writing a research paper. The idea of writing a paper from scratch can be intimidating to say the least. The student usually starts by identifying the right topic that is appropriate to the subject. This is one of the major tasks in writing a research paper and once this step is crossed, the student can begin the research needed to write the paper.
One aspect that students should keep in mind while writing a research paper is the style guide. There are many kinds of formatting guides available today such as apa, chicago, harvard and mla. Before gaining an understanding on how to write a research paper, the student should understand the guidelines that come with each of these formatting guides. These style guides are managed by different professional organizations and they strive to change it from time to time to accommodate the new changes that take place in terms of technology and research. For example, the sixth edition of the apa came up with a new set of guidelines that match the growing use of Internet and related technologies such as podcasts. So, these guidelines change from time to time and users should be aware of these changes.
When the user has decided on the topic, it is time to do research on the topic and check the information available on the Internet, books and online and print periodicals. Based on the information available, the student can formulate a thesis and state it in the introductory part of the research paper. The thesis should be relevant to the topic and at the same time, it should be interesting and engaging to the readers. It is always a good idea to pick a relevant topic that has little research done on it before.
The student then has to talk in-depth about the literature available on the topic followed by an explanation of the thesis. The writer should discuss the different methodologies used to prove the thesis. When students collect extensive information by way of a survey or questionnaire, it helps the writer to better prove or disprove his or her point. The writer should mine the information collected from respondents to relate to the thesis as it improves readability and strengthens the overall idea of the paper.
The next step is to talk about the pros and cons of the thesis including the aspects that could not be proved through the study or available literature. In other words, the paper should explain the limitations of the study and the reasons behind it.
Lastly, the writer should talk about the practical implications of the thesis including its applicability in the real-world situations. The paper should end with guidance for the future, especially about the path that a researcher interested in this topic should take. These are the new guidelines that writers should keep in mind while authoring a research paper.
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