How to start a research paper


A research paper is a long essay which takes a great deal of time and effort to create and which is worth a considerable chunk of your grading in your college year or semester. A research paper should and must be taken seriously. Research papers can be developed in a variety of subject areas including literature, history and science.

There are a number of practical steps you can take to make a good if not the best possible start to your research paper. These are tried and tested activities or steps. If you know better steps and they work, fine. Otherwise think seriously about adopting some if not all of these steps. They are known to help in learning how to start a research paper.

  • ask questions about the research paper
  • choosing the topic well is perfect
  • look for the narrow interpretation of the topic
  • make a list of your resources -- people, printed and digital
  • create more than one thesis statement
  • produce an outline

Rushing in where fools fear to tread is not the way to learn how to start a research paper. By all means do not delay starting but certainly start by first asking questions. And do your homework before you start the assignment. Are you sure about the topic? Are you sure about the number of words to be written? Are you sure about the deadline? Ask any even many questions particularly from your supervising lecturer or professor to make sure that you are definitely singing on the same page in the same hymn book. It is crazy to head off to research land without being rock solid in the knowledge of your topic, words required, etc.

The right topic is the key to your successful research paper. You cannot make a better start to your research paper introduction than by choosing the ideal topic. Have do you do that? Well again, talking to your tutor or professor is a pretty good place to sort out the right topic. You are the one who has to do the research and the writing. Call on the experienced academic to give you good and plentiful advice about the choice of the topic. Whatever you come up with they will have an opinion on it. Find out that opinion.

Whatever the topic of your research paper, refine that topic. Look for a narrow interpretation thereof. You don't want a topic which requires a rambling on your behalf. Be specific. With a narrow target it is much easier to hit the bullseye.

There are people who can help you with your research. There are books and journals and of course there are many online articles and blogs all of which can assist in your creation of the research paper. Make a list of all your resources.

Your thesis statement is the key to the starting of your writing. Do not write a single thesis statement. Write two or three or even more. The idea is to be able to compare your statements so as to find the one which has the greatest strength. Your entire research paper will depend on [a] your choice of topic and [b] your strength of thesis statement. Take your time and choose wisely.

An outline or plan is essential. You do not start your research paper activities unless you have an outline or plan. This is your roadmap to success. The theory goes that you can spend up to a month on preparation and on research and only a week on the actual writing. To make that happen and happen successfully you need to plan thoroughly in advance.

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