How to Write a Research Paper
When you write a report, your main objective is to present information to the reader about a particular topic. Your goal is not to present your opinion or to try to sway the reader in any way. Rather, you are simply presenting information in a non-biased manner.
In order to properly write a report, you will need to do an extensive amount of research on the topic and you will need to utilize several different sources. When writing a research paper for a class, your teacher might specify how many difference sources you must use. Similarly, the teacher might restrict the number of sources you can use from a specific category of sources. For example, you might be expected to use at least three books and no more than two Internet sources.
When you select your sources for your research paper, you want to be certain that they are ones that provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. Therefore, while books generally have great information, you might not want to use one that was published twenty years ago and has never been updated.
As you conduct your research, you will need to write down the information that you find. In order to help keep your research notes organized, you should use note cards on which you only write one piece of information. That way, you can easily move the note cards around into different categories and place them in order for your paper. If you are not a fan of the note card method, you should at least have one piece of paper for different categories of research and you should place all of the information pertaining to that category on the piece of paper it pertains to.
Once you have gathered all of your research information together, you can begin the writing process. The first paragraph of your research paper is the introductory paragraph, which contains your thesis. The thesis is the one sentence that summarizes what the entire paper will be about. All of your research and the paragraphs to follow the introductory paragraph should be written to support the thesis statement.
The number of paragraphs that follow your introductory paragraph depends upon how long your paper needs to be. In most cases, you will have at least three paragraphs after the introductory paragraph that will serve as the body of your research article.
Regardless of the number of paragraphs that follow your introductory paragraph, each one will have a topic sentence. The topic sentence is the sentence that describes what the rest of that particular paragraph is about and it should be in support of your thesis. All of the other sentences in that paragraph will then support the topic sentence, which also further helps to support your thesis.
Your final paragraph is your conclusion. In the conclusion, you will summarize the points you made throughout your reference project. In addition, you will restate the thesis, though you must be careful to write it in a way that is different from the introductory paragraph.
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