In order to write a successful essay, you must organize your thoughts. This structure serves as a foundation for your paper. Use either an outline or a diagram to jot down your ideas and organize them. To create a diagram, write your topic in the middle of your page. Draw three to five lines branching off from this topic and write down your main ideas at the ends of these lines. Draw more lines off these main ideas and include any thoughts you may have on these ideas.
If you prefer to create an outline, write your topic at the top of the page. From there, begin to list your main ideas, leaving space under each one. In this space, make sure to list other smaller ideas that relate to each main idea. Doing this will allow you to see connections and will help you to write a more organized essay. Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement.
Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay. Look at your outline or diagram. What are the main ideas? Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, and the second part states the point of the essay. The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic. Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay. Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure.
Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format, but leave three or four lines in between each point to come back and give detailed examples to back up your position. Fill in these spaces with relative information that will help link smaller ideas together. Now that you have developed your thesis and the overall body of your essay, you must write an introduction.
The great part about doing lots of research is that when you really know your topic, writing about it becomes easier. Still, sitting with a blank computer screen in front of you and a deadline looming can be pretty intimidating.
Even if you've read countless books, websites, and journals, and have all your notes prepared, it's normal to struggle with exactly how to get started on the actual writing. The best way to begin? Just start putting ideas down on paper! The first few words don't have to be perfect and there's a good chance they won't be but you'll find it gets easier after you've started.
And you can always revise the actual writing later — the important thing is getting your ideas down on paper. You may have learned this approach in elementary school as writing a "web. Another good tip for getting started is to write down your ideas like you're telling your parent, brother, or sister about them.
Don't feel that you have to write a paper in order. Most people make revisions while they're working. For example, you may be halfway through writing paragraph four when you realize there's a better way to argue the point you made back in paragraph two. This is all part of the thinking process. And it's a good reason to leave plenty of time to do your paper rather than putting it off until the last minute! It's also a good idea to leave enough time after finishing a paper to put it aside for a few days and then go back to make revisions.
Revising a paper is a step that even the best writers think is essential. When you haven't worked on your paper for a few days, any flaws or problems will stand out more: Look for things like unnecessary words, sentences that don't make sense, and points that don't follow on from or support each other.
Your teacher will probably want you to cite your sources which means list the sources you used for ideas, statements, and other information in your paper. Each teacher has different preferences so ask yours for guidance. Citation not only shows that a paper is well researched, it also lets the reader know which ideas came from your mind and which ideas came from someone else's. The only time it's OK not to use a citation is if the content is common knowledge like the date of a well-known battle or if the idea is your own.
Citing sources is important because it can help you avoid something called plagiarism. You cannot make a finally formulated statement before you have completed your reseach paper. It will naturally change while you develop your ideas. Stay away from generic and too fuzzy statements and arguments.
Use a particular subject. The paper should present something new to the audience to make it interesting and educative to read. Avoid citing other authors in this section.
Present your own ideas in your own words instead of simply copying from other writers. If you have time and opportunity, show it to your instructor to revise.
Otherwise, you may estimate it yourself. A well-prepared thesis means well-shaped ideas. It increases credibility of the paper and makes good impression about its author. More helpful hints about Writing a Research Paper. An informal outline working outline is a tool helping an author put down and organize their ideas. It is subject to revision, addition and canceling, without paying much attention to form. In a formal outline, numbers and letters are used to arrange topics and subtopics.
The letters and numbers of the same kind should be placed directly under one another. The topics denoted by their headings and subheadings should be grouped in a logical order. All points of a research paper outline must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your capital Roman numeral.
The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other.
Make the first outline tentative. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic. BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement.
Remember the Rule of 3, i. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point. Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion.
Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct. Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper. Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place.
You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids. Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible.
Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page.
Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e. Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline.
Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e. Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e.
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Writing a Research Paper. This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper. Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide. An essay can have many purposes, but the basic structure is the same no matter what. You may be writing an essay to argue for a particular point of view or to explain the steps necessary to complete a .
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