How To Write A Research Paper - Where Do You Start?

If you are a student at high school or college you are almost certain to be required to write a research paper. The best way to start is to imagine yourself as an Explorer. You go off on an adventure exploring a particular place or event or issue. The best way to start is to understand what a research paper is all about and your role in writing it and then make sure that you are very well prepared. A well-organized and well-prepared student will always write a good research paper.

Choosing a topic is your number one task

Now in some situations your teacher or professor will say to you that you can choose your own topic or in a number of cases topics will be chosen for you. Regardless of the situation, once you have a topic, you need to ask a number of questions. What is this topic all about? What sort of research material do I have access to? What is the main point or thesis statement or argument I wish to make in this research paper? What do I have to research?

If you are given the option of choosing the topic yourself, make sure it's something that you really like and want to write about.

Don't copy someone else. One of the key ingredients of a research paper which gets a really high score is one which has been written by someone who's taken a unique or new approach to the topic. If you write along the same line or approach that other students have used, your work becomes just one of many. Make it stand out by writing something original.

Don't be afraid to ask for advice

Everything from the actual choice of topic to expertise once you have chosen the topic. That could mean somebody in your school or college or somebody who has experience or expertise in your topic who could be an ideal source of valuable information. You'll never know if you don't ask.

Learn the difference between related research material and relevant research material. Many students spend time wading through research material which is related to the topic but which is not relevant to the topic. There is an important difference and you can save yourself valuable time by looking only for relevant material.

Use as many sources of material as possible and that includes your school or college library and of course relevant websites online. Don't restrict yourself. It may well be that there is one particular source which provides you with valuable information to really write your research paper effectively so keep an eye out for all possibilities.

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