Doing a research paper can be a tedious task. A project like this only seems daunting; with the right planning, it can be finished in much less time than one might think. A typical assignment includes the following: an introduction, body paragraphs, a conclusion, and if needed, a works cited page. This last section may not be needed if footnotes will be accepted. Once these elements are put together, a successful outcome is possible.
The introduction states the topic at hand. It presents the justification for the topic and lays out and the angle from which the writer wishes to make their points. Usually the introduction ends with a statement that summarizes the order in which the main points of the essay are presented.
Body paragraphs make up the bulk of the assignment. Each paragraph should cover just one point. If a point or section is not enough to make up a paragraph of about eight to ten lines, the point in question should be re assessed or if necessary, researched further.
Once the body paragraphs have been done, a conclusion is included after the body paragraphs. This paragraph usually briefly outlines the points made in the research thus far – the introduction and the body paragraphs. The conclusion does not present any new facts or evidence, nor does it attempt to refute facts or evidence presented previously in the essay.
It is very, very important to give credit to any outside sources used. This is necessary to avoid plagiarism, which is a very serious offense in many institutions of learning. Some methods of citation require that the source be mentioned in both the body of the paper itself and within a list of works used, which is usually at the end of a research paper. Some instructors or lecturers may just require that footnotes are used. Some instructors may require both. Whatever the case, it is important to note that citations should be done in the style that the instructor asks for. Otherwise, citations should be done in the style of the discipline in which the assignment falls.
A research paper may require things other than the elements listed above. If help was given by particular party or organization, an acknowledgement should be included.
Once you follow these steps, your research paper can be a success.
After writing and rewriting your content and polishing your final draft, your work is not quite finished just yet. This is where you add any final touches you had yet to complete that your paper may require. These elements may include a title page, works cited page, and setting margins and page spacing. Your content may need to follow a specific order and this is the best time to ensure your work displays it. For instance, your format may include an abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion in this order. Some students may find it easier to incorporate these requirements into their paper as they are writing it instead of waiting until the end.