In the past article, I elaborated on the craft of essay writing.
The article focused specifically on the various technique(s) of planning and brainstorming, formatting and writing the entire essay in an efficient manner.
I now want to redirect the focus to writing an academically acceptable research paper.
To many students, writing a research paper is a painful and time-intense project that often gets worked on the night before it is due.
In this article I plan to introduce a series of steps that will greatly assist the student in developing a clear and decisive research paper.
Many times a student will try to "cram" writing their research paper into one night.
The truth is that a research paper should be completed in steps that are carefully orchestrated.
I truly believe that a good research paper author has mastered an art in its self.
Once you have been assigned a subject or topic to research and write about, you will then need to visit the library.
Yes, libraries are not just for sleeping while on your study hall pass. The staff librarian should become your best friend while in school.
Every library contains a system for locating books, journals and multi-media on your specific subject.
If you are fortunate enough to choose your own research paper title, you should do yourself a favor and don't select something to report on that is obscure or way above your head.
You should try and choose a topic that is within your level of writing or just above.
Once you are able to locate your reference books or multi-media materials, you need to review the items for credibility and depth, especially if you are using the Internet for some of your sources.
Your next step should be to formulate an outline that encompasses the theme and supporting ideas of the paper.
Writing the research paper is much like writing the essay, but must be credible and informative.
The writer should be referring to the sources that he or she has located and decided to use.
Once the outline is constructed, it is now time to develop a well-written thesis statement.
The thesis statement should give the reader a sense of direction for where the paper is going to take them.
It is important to remember that the introduction should be "catchy" and crafted with precision.
It is now time to begin the process of extracting valuable information from your sources that have a direct correlation to your introduction and outline.
A common error for many young writers is to digress from the original introduction and outline.
This is the reason that many instructors will require their students to submit the various workings of the research paper in set intervals.
They (instructors) want to assure that their students are following their "game plan" and not writing in circles.
In part two of this article, I will begin speaking about the body of the research paper, proper citing techniques, the conclusion and, finally, the bibliography.
Cordell is the owner of Excell Tutoring Services, 1020 Arthur Road, Montoursville.
He may be reached at 506-9998 or twcordell@ gmail.com.