Writing a Research Paper: Guidelines

Writing a research paper, you should remember that it is different from a common essay. First, it is longer in size. Besides, it requires some extra research and implies not only writing down the ideas, but also proper documentation of the used sources. Some of the research papers need footnotes to let the readers check where the information is taken from.

Main Aspects to Consider

  1. You need a lot of materials for your research paper, so you should know how you can access the sources for those materials. Check reliable regular and electronic catalogues and pre-order the materials that you need to take from the library.
  2. If you are supposed to conduct your own experiment, you need to take into consideration your expectations and observe the subject of your research. Remember that you should be an unbiased person without any prejudices that can affect the interpretation of observation results. 
  3. Try to process as many materials as you can to make the paper solid and well grounded. Cite all the sources in the reference list and include relevant in-text citations in the text.
  4. Get a clear idea of the chosen subject and work a lot on making your thesis statement perfect. It is one of the most crucial points of writing a research paper. Your research will be specific only if the ideas you use are clear.

Do and Don’t

Do:

  • Do use a scientific manner of writing in your research.
  • Do keep to the concise and academic writing style.
  • Do make a list of all the ideas and methods that you use in the paper.
  • Do choose the sources on the basis of their credibility. Verification of all the materials will help you avoid using doubtful details and invalid data. All information that you use should be correct.
  • Do read the research paper guide not to miss any point.
  • Do use scientific terms, but be careful. Too many terms can make the paper ineffective.
  • Do proofread the paper and ensure flawless citation. Do not submit the paper to the instructor until you check the final variant several times.

Don’t:

  • Don’t include the irrelevant facts and ideas into the paper to increase the word count.
  • Don’t forget to follow the research paper format.
  • Don’t write the paper in a broad general way. Base your conclusion on a number of valid facts; being based only on a single one, the paper will look weak.
  • Don’t think that the research rewriting done by a different person makes the paper unique. Only your personal interpretation of the subject and understanding of what you write about make the paper original.
  • Don’t consider Wikipedia to be a reliable and credible source. Never cite it in the reference list. It can serve you only as a source for several guidelines and ideas.
  • Don’t use the information that can contract your thesis.
  • Don’t do any adjustments of the results of observation and experiments to make them match the expected results.

Typical Mistakes

  • Improper citing of the used sources.
  • Including irrelevant details into the paper.
  • Inability to distinguish between the essential information and secondary details.
  • Typos and spelling mistakes. Proofreading is a must for every paper.
  • Using inaccurate sources of information.
  • Broad topics and generalizations.
  • Making doubtful conclusions that do not refer to the thesis statement.

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