Producing a research paper is one of the most important assignments of any course or degree that you are pursuing. The reason for its importance being, research paper writing involves extensive research on a given topic, critical analysis, thorough reasoning, and presenting it in an organized format.
This establishes the fact that students who work on a research paper are much likely to improve their research skills, knowledge in the chosen topic of research, reasoning skills, writing skills, and critical analysis skills to a great extent.
- Choosing the right research statement. If you have a choice, choose a field of study that excites you. A research statement that actually intrigues you ensures that you will be giving your best all along, with very fewer chances of losing focus on the way, without requiring any additional effort or motivation. If you don’t have a choice, try to casually read some information about the topic with genuine curiosity and you will surely find something intriguing, enough to capture and hold your interest.
- Plan effectively in such a way that your workflow is efficient and free from unnecessary hassle. A well thought out plan is a key factor in getting your research paper right and it can save you from getting lost along the way. There are certain important things you should keep in mind when planning your research paper.
- Have a clear understanding of what the topic is, what your research statement is, and how you are going to present it.
- Spend a considerable amount of time searching for information, reading it thoroughly, and saving it in an organized manner.
- Maintain a planner, and create a schedule based on your deadline, leaving enough time for researching, drafting, editing, and day-offs. Stay ahead of your schedule so that there are negligible chances of falling behind.
- Research your topic thoroughly and note down the important points in an organized manner, while also saving online resources for offline access and organizing them properly in an easily accessible way. It is essential to gather as much information possible before you start working so that you have enough context. Gather information only from reliable sources.
- Layout a structure before you start writing and use it as a framework to present your arguments, study, answers, and comments. A well-structured approach keeps you on track and makes it easier to present information in proper sequence, while also providing efficiency. Having a proper sequence and clear flow of information throughout the writing is another key element of an effective research paper.
- Use visual representations or vision boards for brainstorming and structuring your thoughts and information. Draw flow charts to represent the narrative of information, use mind-mapping techniques to connect different pieces of information with each other, and make a detailed representation to use as a reference while writing the paper.
- Prefer quality over quantity. While most of us try to make any kind of written work lengthy, we all know that an impactful paper requires quality. A well crafted and precise paper worth 2000 words is sure to fetch you better grades than a below-average paper of 3000 words. To ensure quality in your research paper, provide simple answers and arguments backed with proper evidence, without deviating from the purpose of the research. Cite your sources, and address any counter-arguments or holes that you can identify.
- Read, re-read, and re-read multiple times, identifying missing information and adding it, removing any extra bit of information that is not required, making the abstract as precise as possible. Edit grammatical errors, any sentence phrasing that seems out of place or confusing, and rephrase it in a simpler form.
- Sleepover your drafts before editing. When you are finished with your first draft, sleep over it before editing. Move away from it for a day or two, depending upon how much time you have on hand, which should be fine if you are following your schedule and not running behind. When you come back to your draft after that, you will have a clearer head and replenish energy, which helps you get a better perspective on your work and figure out what needs to be added, removed, or modified. You will need day offs before you edit each draft and revise your final copy, therefore make sure you plan accordingly so that you can have enough time to do so.
- Having a clear and calm mind throughout the process is non-negotiable. If you don’t feel like doing it at any given moment, don’t do it. Overworking, or forcing yourself to work in such cases only results in overwhelming stress, and overall mediocrity in work. Let’s be honest. When you’re not in the right mood, you can not put in the same amount of effort and bring the same amount of enthusiasm as you would with a calm and relaxed mind.