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    How to Write a Research Paper – Step by Step

    Posted on : 06 Sep 2017 by admin




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    Ive probably written over 70 research papers over the last 7 years of school.

    And Ive gotten to the point where writing research papers is like second nature for me.

    Its not that Im a better writer than anyone else, its just that I know how to organize information quickly.

    So here is my basic process on how I write my papers step-by-step:

    Research Phase: Hunting and Gathering
    This is probably the most time-consuming part of the research paper. Im a research hound, so I like to spend as much time as possible finding all the research possible. Its during this phase that Im doing the following:

    • Refining my research subject
    • Developing research questions
    • Consulting librarians for their insight on my research area
    • Reading journal article abstracts on the topic Im interested in

    Organizing Phase: Reading and Writing
    As Im reviewing journal articles, Im jotting down everything I need from the article before moving on; including: citation info, potential quotes, summaries, and any referenced journal articles that look interesting. Im also:

    • Developing a potential thesis statement
    • Creating a meaty bibliography
    • Outlining my paper
    • Inserting notes within my outline – and adding references

    Drafting Phase: Writing
    Once Ive written my thesis statement and completed my outline, its time to begin working on my first draft. Here are the steps that I take:

    • Just start writing something (I typically start in the middle somewhere)
    • Make sure to cite everything (I go overboard just to be safe)
    • Keep refining the thesis
    • Keeping modifying the outline
    • Pretend the paper is due the next day and just finish it
    • Take a day off after the first draft is done – dont look at it

    Revision Phase: Editing Never Ends
    Revising as you know means removing and adding content to make the paper better – which means nobody is ever really done. We just turn in our last and best draft. Here are my editing steps:

    • Read it aloud and mark any areas that dont sound right
    • Look at all the punctuation marks – especially apostrophes
    • Make sure every paragraph moves the paper along
    • Eliminate passive verbs whenever possible

    So thats my strategy on how to write a research paper. I never feel completely done writing, but those steps help me get a paper finished that Im at least happy with.

    What steps do you take when writing a research paper?

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