How to Write aResearch Paper in 6 Steps

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1. Write your body paragraphs. Although it may seem counterintuitive, writing your introduction first may be more difficult to accomplish than starting with the meat of your paper. Starting by writing the main points (focusing on supporting your thesis) allows you to slightly change and manipulate your ideas and commentary.
• Support every statement you make with evidence. Because this is a research paper, there shouldn’t be any remarks that you make that cannot be supported by facts directly from your research.
• Supply ample explanations for your research. The opposite of stating opinions without facts is stating facts with no commentary. Although you certainly want to present plenty of evidence, make sure that your paper is uniquely your own by adding commentary wherever possible.
• Avoid using too many long, direct quotes. Although your paper is based on research, the point is for you to present your own ideas. Unless the quote you intend on using is absolutely necessary, try paraphrasing and analyzing it in your own words instead.
• Use clear transitions between adjacent points in your paper. Your essay should flow well, rather than stopping and starting in a blunt fashion. Make sure that each of your body paragraphs flows nicely into the one after it.
2. Write the conclusion. Now that you have carefully worked through your evidence, write a conclusion that briefly summarizes your findings for the reader and provides a sense of closure. Start by briefly restating the thesis statement, then remind the reader of the points you covered over the course of the paper. Slowly zoom out of the topic as you write, ending on a broad note by emphasizing the larger implication of your findings.
• The goal of the conclusion, in very simplified terms, is to answer the question, “So what?” Make sure the reader feels like (s)he’s come away with something.
• It’s a good idea to write the conclusion before the introduction for several reasons. First of all, the conclusion is easier to write when the evidence is still fresh in your mind. On top of that, it’s recommended that you use up your most choice language in the conclusion and then reword these ideas less strongly in the introduction, not the other way around; this will leave a more lasting impression on the reader.

3. Write the introduction. The introduction is, in many respects, the conclusion written in reverse: start by generally introducing the larger topic, then orient the reader in the area you’ve focused on, and finally, supply the thesis statement. Avoid repeating exact phrases that you already used in the conclusion.
4. Document your paper.All research essays must be documented according to MLA documentation style in order to avoid plagiarism.
5. Edit your rough draft.Although it is tempting to simply read over your essay and use the spell-check tool, editing your paper should be a bit more in-depth. Have at least one, but preferably two or more, person/people look over your essay. Better yet, read the paper aloud to them. Then have them edit for basic grammatical and spelling errors as well as the persuasiveness of your essay and the flow and form of your paper.
• If possible, once you have edited your own paper, wait a few days before returning to it. Studies show that your writing is still fresh in your mind for 2-3 days after finishing, and so you are more likely to skim over basic mistakes that you would otherwise catch.
• Don’t ignore edits by others just because they require a bit more work. If they suggest that you rewrite a section of your paper, there is probably a valid reason for their request. Take the time to edit your paper thoroughly.

6. Create the final draft. When you have edited and re-edited your paper, formatted your work according to the subject matter, and finalized all the main points, you are ready to create the final draft. Go through your paper and fix all mistakes, rearranging information if necessary. Adjust the font, line spacing, and margins to meet the requirements set by your professor. If necessary, create an introduction page and a works cited or references page to bookend your paper. The completion of these tasks finalizes your paper! Make sure to save the paper  multiple places, for extra security) and print out your final draft.

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