Step 1. Choose a topic

Choose a topic that you’re interested in. It’ll be much easier to write and your effort will show through your work. Try to concentrate on a specific area of your topic, but also be careful not to pick a topic with too many avenues and resources. Start by picking topics and narrowing them down.


Step 2. Find information

You have to be careful when using search engines and other internet sources. The most credible sites have the domain names of .edu, .org, .gov and they are the ones that you should be using. You can also use the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) to find books in the library. When you find useful information keep note of the author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, page numbers, URLs, creation or modification dates on Web pages, and your date of access to use later for your works cited page.


Step 3. State your thesis

Your thesis statement is the reason why you are writing the paper. It’s what you believe. Every subject you touch on should be a reflection of why and how you chose your thesis statement.


Step 4. Make an outline

The points of your outline should be the supporting facts of your thesis statement. Since you’re jotting down ideas, they do not have to be complete sentences. This will help you organize your paper logically before you start writing. The outline should consist of an introduction, body and conclusion. In the introduction state your thesis and the major talking points clearly. The body is where you will elaborate on your talking points with supporting facts. Remember to begin with a strong argument, a stronger argument and end with the strongest.

The conclusion is where you restate your thesis, summarize your arguments and explain why you have come to this conclusion.

Step 5. Organize your notes

Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline.  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. Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately.


Step 6. First draft

The purpose of the first draft is to connect the dots from your outline so your paper can flow. Start with the first topic in your outline, then explain your ideas using your notes.


Step 7. Revise

When revising, you should proofread your paper for errors and ideas that may need to be rearranged. It’s very important that you keep the purpose of your paper and readers in mind. Here is the difference between revising and editing. Revising is changing the content of your essay. Basically adding, removing and rearranging to make your content more effective. Editing is finding errors in punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Grammarly is a great online proofreader that’s free to help you with this process.


Step 8. Final draft

Once you feel that your work is complete, type up the final draft of your paper. If you are writing make sure that you are writing with a black or blue ink pen.

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