If you have been asked to write a research paper in college or university, you might be wondering how to do it in a way that will give you an A. For some people, written assignments are usually a much easier to get better grades as they can be done at home and at your own pace, without the pressure of a time-based exam.
But it doesn’t mean that any paper will guarantee you an A. You will have to add some extra flavour to it in order to make your teacher or professor love what they are reading. And here is how you do it.
# 1 - Choose a topic that you can handle
First of all, something of major importance: choose a topic that you can handle. Even if you get direct instructions about what to write, you still can pick an angle that suits you better. It will increase your chances of understanding your sources and delivering a high-quality paper.
If you aren’t sure if you can write about what you want, run your idea by your teacher. But it is still more advisable than trying to write about something that you don’t know the basics.
# 2 - Find the right sources
A research paper is different from a regular essay because your research is the most important part of it, while it is just the background on the latter. So make sure that you choose the best sources available regarding the topic in question.
You can ask the help of your teacher or the librarian to find out who are the scientists or experts in the industry at the moment, so you don’t miss to mention someone highly relevant.
# 3 - Get your notes organised
You will be doing lots of research, so ensure that you get your notes organised from the very beginning. Write down where you read or watched what, who said it, and the bibliography related.
Highlight their arguments, and how they reached their conclusions. It will help you to get your own ideas prepared and avoid unconscious plagiarism caused by mixed quotes floating away in your mind.
# 4 - Define only one thesis
Your thesis is a crucial part of your paper. So take your time defining yours, and how you are going to defend it. But, above all, make sure that you choose only one thesis.
If your topic is too complex and looks like you can only explain it with more than one thesis, you probably need to narrow your research down to just one angle. What you can’t do is try to prove two theses in just one research paper.
# 5 - Consider your audience
Before start writing anything, you will need to consider your audience.
As you can see, your audience will influence not only how you will write your paper but which information you will add to it.
# 6 - Check the format
Even though a research paper is a research paper everywhere, its format can change a bit considering if you are in school, college, or university. And even in university, it can become more complex if you are attending a bachelor, a master, or a doctorate. So you should check with your teacher or professor which format you are expected to follow at this stage.
# 7 - Prepare an outline and write the first draft
With everything well organised, it is time for you to create an outline and write your first draft. The outline will help you to ensure that you will cover everything that is essential and that each paragraph will have just what it should. After doing it, just write your ideas away.
# 8 - Read it to someone else
Next step should be reading your paper to someone else, so you can check if it makes sense. A second opinion is valuable because you are emotionally involved and might something is very clear when it is not. So prepare for criticism and make the adjustments that sound coherent to you.
# 9 - Edit and proofread your research paper
Now that your second draft is done, it is time to edit and proofread your research paper. You can try and do it yourself, but the best thing to do is to ask an online writing service, such as PapersBoard, to do it for you. It is just not possible to review your own work as you might. Also remember to ask the agency to check your writing for plagiarism, just to be on the safe side.
The bottom line
The tips above will help you to deliver a research paper that your teacher or professor will love. They are easy to follow, so you should have no problem with them. And, hopefully, you will get an A for all your hard work.