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Writing a Research Paper

How to Write a Research Paper?

What is a Research Paper?

A research paper is a document written to mark the culmination of a study and a research process. A research paper is usually preceded by an initial outline presented in the form of a research proposal. The process of research is characterized by critical analysis, data collection, source evaluation and a written composition. A research paper is usually longer than a student essay and more detailed in analysis, although research papers can be considered as longer essays. Research papers are analytical, scholarly and usually have original, publishable content. The process of writing a research paper begins with choosing a topic, identifying sources, writing a plan or research proposal, conducting research, collecting data, evaluating results and presenting an argument to support the research direction. A research paper is similar to an essay or thesis, but can be more focused, scholarly and written specifically for publication in a scholarly journal. A thesis or essay can also be considered as a research paper, although student assignments may not have the level of scholarship or professional sophistication as a publishable research paper.

What is the purpose of a Research Paper?

Write a Research Paper

Just like a thesis, a research paper is aimed to conduct original research based on a specific research problem. The purpose of student research papers is to prepare the students for a career in research and analysis. Research papers help in the assessment of student knowledge and understanding. Professional researchers write research papers to document the process of research as they conduct their study and interpret their findings. Research papers begin with a topic, a research question and after source identification, the primary or secondary data aim to bolster the hypothesis and substantiate research findings. The purpose of a research paper could be an original contribution to a field of study, assessment of student knowledge, publication of findings and providing new insights on a research problem.

How to write a Research Paper?

Writing a research paper requires the same steps as writing an essay or a thesis. A research paper needs to start with a topic. After the topic is clear, focus on a specific research problem and come up with an appropriate research question. Consult your advisor or supervisor to determine whether your research topic is appropriate or feasible to your field of study. The next stage is to identify the resources that will be used for research and then come up with a research outline or proposal on how you wish to conduct the research. Once the research proposal is approved by your advisors, conduct the research through source evaluation, data collection, critical analysis and conclusion. You may want to provide arguments, data, graphics, evidence or case studies to support your paper. Try to show how or why your research is justified and makes an original contribution to your field of study and also explain how your conducted research precisely answers the research questions. While writing a research paper you must follow the original outline or research proposal as this will bring in a level of organization and direction to the process of research. Organize your data, notes and rewrite your drafts until you have a final proofread paper free from grammatical, typographical or spelling errors.

What are the different types of Research Papers?

Research papers are categorized according to their specific purpose. There are argumentative research papers, analytical research papers, research reports, comparative or compare and contrast research papers, interpretive papers and definition papers. Just like the different types of essays, research papers can be comparative as in compare-contrast type arguments. In comparative analysis two issues, positions, articles, papers or arguments are compared and the researcher highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each position, argument, issue or product. Interpretive research papers are based on researcher interpretation of facts, data or arguments. Research reports are fact-based documents, usually providing figures, data and objective analysis. Definition research papers are again fact-based, objective research papers and in these papers, a specific topic or issue is simply defined using factual information. The entire paper is based on definition of the terms. Such research papers are almost like reports but less formal in structure and are usually devoid of analysis or opinions. However definition papers that deal with abstract concepts may include subjective views of the author.

If you are struggling to understand which type of research paper you should write, consult an advisor or professional writer.

Concluding Remarks

A research paper is an essential part of your research as it formalizes the research process and gives it a certain level of credibility and substance. The research paper represents your research, so it is a tool to present your findings, analyze your data and support your arguments. You can write and publish several research papers in your field of study. If you intend to make a significant contribution to your subject area, you must seek guidance and master the art of writing very effective research papers.

Reference: Professional Writer Guides & Resources -