Here are a few good questions to ask yourself at this stage: Is the paper well-organized, and does it have a logical flow of thought from paragraph to paragraph? Does your thesis hold up to the three criteria listed earlier? Is it well supported by your research and arguments?
Have you checked that all your sources are properly cited? How repetitive is the paper? Can you get rid of superlative points or language to tighten up your argument? This is the part where you check for punctuation, spelling, and grammar errors. It helps to let your paper sit overnight, and then read it out loud to yourself, or the cat, or have a friend read it. Here are a couple more final questions to ask yourself before you call it a day: Have you avoided filler words , adverbs , and passive voice as much as possible?
Have you checked for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation? It looks for things like sentence structure and length, as well as accidental plagiarism and passive tense. Now, this page works a little differently depending on what style your professor has asked you to use, and it can get pretty confusing, as different types of sources are formatted completely differently.
The most important thing to ensure here is that every single source, whether big or small, is on this page before you turn your paper in. I got through college by using a couple of different tools to format it for me. Just take it step by step, piece by piece, and give yourself plenty of time. Take frequent breaks, stay organized, and never, ever, ever forget to cite your sources.
You can do this! Good luck! Want to earn better grades? Did you find this article useful? Over , awesome students are learning how to dominate their classes, get more done, and land the jobs they want — and you should too. Wikipedia As mentioned earlier in this guide, you can use Wikipedia for introductory research. So, do not use Wikipedia as a primary source for your research paper. When it comes to writing research papers, the references section of a Wikipedia page is one of your best friends.
Just like you should be citing your sources at the end of your research paper, Wikipedia articles link to their primary sources. You can use the list of references to find books, articles, and other material that can help you find reliable, relevant primary sources for use in your research. Academic Databases Your instructor may require you to use peer-reviewed academic articles as some or all of the sources for your research paper.
As a college student, you probably have access to a number of academic databases that you can use to find scholarly articles. This skill will be a useful one to have, and you will be easily finding trustworthy, interesting sources in no time.
This online resource offers a number of helpful writing materials, including information on how to cite sources, grammar rules, choosing a topic, and even how to write a research paper. You can search for specific help, or browse resources by category. This free website is a must-visit online resource when writing a college research paper. Grammarly Grammarly is like a super-powered spell checker. You can copy and paste your paper into the Grammarly editor and get spelling and grammar advice that is easy to implement.
You need to go over each suggestion made by the software and make sure that it is indeed correcting an error or improving a sentence and not changing something that you meant to say. That being said, Grammarly is great at catching errors and provides easy-to-understand explanations of spelling and grammar suggestions so you can knowledgeably make changes to your research paper. White Style guides may be mostly a thing of the past.
You have probably used a spell checker or Googled where to put a comma, but you may never have opened a style guide. However, this book, The Elements of Style, has helpful advice and information about writing. If you are looking for guidance when it comes to editing your paper, picking up a copy of this book may be just what you need. The book consists of different sections, some with specific grammar and writing rules and definitions and others with general writing advice.
You might feel like we keep saying this we do. That is especially important when it comes to formatting your paper. There are several different formatting styles and each has specific rules and guidelines.
Your instructor likely gave you instructions on which style to use, and if not you can ask which they prefer. Each style has a different name for the list of sources you attach at the end of your paper, different rules about headers and page numbers, etc.
You can find more information about whatever style you are working with in a style guide or from OWL at Purdue. Checklist If you are crafting a paper from scratch, start by reading through the above steps to learn how to write a strong research paper. If you have already written a paper, go over this checklist to ensure that it is ready to turn in. Does your paper fulfill all of the requirements that the assignment asked for? If not, or if you are unsure, look back at Step 1. Did you stick to a topic that fits the assignment?
Reference Step two as you think through topic selection. Are your sources credible, reliable, and logical? Look at Steps three and four for help reflecting on your research.
Do you have a clear, arguable thesis statement? For help with thesis statements, take a look at Step 5. Is your paper organized in a logical way that is easy to understand? When thinking about outline and structure, see Step 6. Did you plagiarize? If you have any doubts, check out Step 7. Did you proofread for content and grammar improvements and errors? If you are bored with the topic, you will probably bore your reader as well. Choose something that is new and exciting, not something overworked.
Is information on this subject available in various forms i. Please note: if information is too abundant, you may have to narrow or limit your topic.
Access the materials. Read, hear, view, and touch. Finalize the thesis statement and prepare a working outline. The outline should serve as a road map for your journey with your thesis as your navigator — it tells you where to go.
When writing your outline, keep your destination in mind. Your information will help you get there, but how will you organize your journey? The thesis should be placed at the beginning of the outline where you can refer to it often. Your teacher may require you to write one or both of the following types of outlines: a topic outline, in which the headings and subheadings are a series of words or phrases, not complete sentences; or a sentence outline, in which every heading and subheading is a complete sentence.
Your teacher can help guide you through the outlining process. Keep in mind: the outline is not meant to hamper or restrict you. It can be changed and revised to allow you to prove your thesis more effectively. This article will give you systematic instructions for writing a research paper.
Start Now 1. The Topic The first, and arguably most important, step to writing a research paper is deciding on the topic. Of course, if your professor gives you your topic, that makes things much easier, but usually you will not be that lucky. So, in order to make this assignment easier on you, select a topic that you enjoy. For example, if the paper is for an English class and your favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird, write it on that.
If your favorite animal is giraffes and the paper is for a biology class , write it on the behaviors of giraffes. For example, if you are in an economics class and have to write a paper, but find economics incredible boring, try writing the paper on how to make a budget, or current economic events in your country.
If your favorite animal is giraffes and the paper is for a biology class , write it on the behaviors of giraffes. If you look at the above examples, each of them makes a specific point about the topic. I preferred it to all be on one text document on my computer, but you could try a physical file, too. Does your thesis hold up to the three criteria listed earlier?
Finally, you have to delete non-essential info and organize the remaining words in the logical order.
When formulating your thesis, use specific, concrete words. When it comes to writing research papers, the references section of a Wikipedia page is one of your best friends. Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. Does your paper include everything the assignment asked for? When thinking about outline and structure, see Step 6. So, just to be clear: you can use Wikipedia as a starting point in your research, but you should not cite Wikipedia as one of the primary sources for your research paper.