When you start studying, you will probably be invited to prepare research documents. A research document can be used to explore and identify scientific, technical, and social issues. If it’s your first time writing a research paper, it may sound scary, but with good organization and focused mind, the process gets a lot simpler. In this article we will teach you step by step how to make an excellent research document. A research paper involves four main steps:
- Choose a Topic
- Search the topic
- Making a Sketch
- Writing a search document
- Choose a Topic
Ask yourself important questions. Although you may be limited by work-related guidelines, choosing your topic is the first and most important step in your search document. Regardless of the topic, it is important to ask yourself some questions:
- Is there enough research available on this topic?
- Is the topic recent so I can offer fresh reviews?
- Is it relevant to my future profession?
- Choose something that you love. Writing about something you like is visible shows in the final product, making it more likely that you will be successful writing an article about something you like.
Keep yourself original. If you are writing a search document for a class, consider the other students. Is it possible they are also writing about your topic?
Ask for advice. If you are struggling to decide on your topic, ask your teacher.
Do not be afraid to change your topic. If you choose a topic, start researching, and realize that it is not the right decision for you, for some reason, do not worry! Simply change topic.
Start your search. With a topic selected, the next step is to start the search. Research comes in many forms, including web pages, magazine articles, academic journals, books, encyclopedias, interviews, documentaries, among others. Try to confirm your information in a minimum of five sources to vary your information; never trust only one or two sources.
Look for empirical research. These are articles or books written by experts in your field of interest whose work has been read and confirmed by other experts in the same field. These can be found in scientific journals or through an online survey.
Visit the library. Take a trip to your local library or university library. Libraries continue to be one of the most comprehensive sources of information and are filled with useful research materials like books, newspapers and magazines.
Read carefully what you search online for. Using a search engine and choosing the first three results is not necessarily the best search method. Use critical thinking to carefully read all sources and determine if it is legitimate. Websites, blogs and online forums can often convey information that has no reliable basis. Usually, websites that end with .edu, .gov, or .org contain secure information for use. This is because these sites belong to schools, government or organizations that deal with your topic.
Use academic databases. There are special search engines and available academic databases that search through thousands of magazines or journals, magazines, and books.
Get creative with your search. If you find a book or magazine that fits your topic perfectly, look also at the cited works / bibliography / reference list at the end of it.
Making a Sketch
Once you have gathered all your research, print what is from online source and mark the books and magazines you are using. This step is very important: read your research, take notes on what you think is important and highlight facts. Write directly on copies you’ve made, or use sticky notes or bookmarks on important pages.
Organize your notes. Noting your research may take a little time, but it will add a bit more clarity to the design process.
Build a preliminary bibliography / reference page. As you go through the notes, mark the author, page number, title, and publication information for each resource.
Identify the purpose of the article. Generally, there are two types of search documents: an argumentative research document or an analytical research document:
- An article of argumentative research takes a position on a contentious issue and defends a point of view. The question must be arguable with a logical argument.
- An analytical research article offers a fresh insight into an important issue. The subject may not be controversial, but you should try to persuade your audience that your ideas have merit.
- Each requires a slightly different focus and writing style that must be identified before beginning the sketch.
Determine your audience. If you are writing for academic peers then you do not need to explain basic ideas or theories. On the other hand, if you are writing to an audience that does not know much about it, it will be important to include explanations and examples of more fundamental ideas and theories related to your research.
Develop your thesis. The thesis statement states the main purpose of your work. All the paragraphs and information of your work will be related to your thesis, make sure that you are clear in the definition of your thesis. An easy way to develop your thesis is to turn it into a question that your work will answer.
Determine your main points. The body of your work will revolve around the ideas that you think are most important.
Order your ideas. Put your strongest points at the beginning and end, and the least important points in the middle or near the end of your document.
Consider the formatting guidelines. These guidelines will change how you organize your outline and final document.
Writing a Research Document
While it may seem counterintuitive, writing soon your introduction can be more difficult than starting with the body of the work itself. Starting by writing the main points allows you to change and manipulate your ideas and comments.
Support every statement you make with evidence. Since this is a research paper, there should not be any observations that can not be supported.
Avoid using many long and direct quotes. Although your article is research based, the idea is for you to present your own ideas.
Write the conclusion. Start by briefly summarizing the thesis statement, then remind the reader of the points you’ve covered over the course of the document.
The purpose of the conclusion is to answer the question posed. Make sure that the reader feels as though you have come out with something.
Write the introduction. The introduction is in many ways the written conclusion in reverse: begin by introducing the major topic, then guide the reader in the area in which you have focused, and finally provide the thesis statement. Avoid repeating exact phrases that you have already used in conclusion.
Format your work. All search documents must be formatted in certain ways. Depending on the subject of your research and your field of study, you will have to use different styles of formatting.
Review and edit your work. While it is tempting to simply read and use the spellcheck tool, editing your work should be a bit more thorough. Ask for help to review.
More than a pair of eyes is always a plus. If you edit your own document, wait at least three days before returning to it. Do not ignore suggestions from others just because it gives more of work. If they suggest you rewrite a section, there is probably a valid reason for your request.
Create the final document. When you have created and republished, formatted your work according to subject, and finalized all the major points, you are ready to create the final document. Adjust the font, spacing between lines and margins to meet the requirements set by your teacher.
Need Help Writing a Research Document?
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And do not forget … run away from the plagiarism!