What to know when you begin Writing your Research Paper

There are a few things you should think about doing that will make the actual writing process much easier after you’ve chosen the type of research methodology you’ll employ, before you settle down and start organizing your paper.

Set up a Writing Schedule

Drafting a schedule should be your first step if your research supervisor has not already established a timetable for you to follow while planning, as well as writing your research paper. Set dates for significant steps along the way, but emphasize creating and maintaining realistic goals. Give yourself enough time to research the resources available to you, meet with a librarian if necessary, choose a research problem to investigate, read relevant research literature, create an outline for your paper, arrange the data you will use as sources, and write your first and final drafts [and any necessary drafts in between]. You can better manage your time in connection to the assignments you receive from other classes by creating a calendar.

Consider the research topic you’ve chosen before Writing

Examine the research topic carefully to determine what you are being asked to perform precisely. A research problem that fascinates you might be framed by looking for key terms, themes, subject areas, and/or issues. Make sure you comprehend the kind of paper you are to create. Research papers delve deeply into a topic, you need to quote reliable sources to support the arguments you make for a certain point of view.

Your lecturer can ask you to frame your analysis using one of the strategies listed below:

  • Comparison approach: where the goal is to compare and contrast two concepts, systems, or physical objects.
  • Definition approach: this approach might require you to go into great detail about the cultural and associative meanings of things like political theories, policy recommendations, or contentious practices.
  • Descriptive approach: You pick a topic that you are knowledgeable with and assist others in understanding it.
  • Evaluative approach: this approach expects you to assess critically theoretical idea, problem, individual, location, or thing.
  • Exploratory approach: An exploratory method is one in which you are to follow a particular path of inquiry with the intention of giving suggestions for additional research or advocating for a particular action.
  • Interpretive approach: This method calls for you to apply the knowledge you’ve learned theoretically from a course to a specific case study.
  • Narrative approach: Use the first person point of view when asked to give a narrative approach.
  • Persuasive approach: The goal of the persuasive technique is to persuade the reader to agree with your position by giving very valid reasons to your ideas.
  • Policy memorandum approach: This approach requires you to write a brief, factual sentences devoid of emotion that summarizes the current situation. As well as identifying the primary concern, break down the components of this primary concern. You can make recommendations for how to address the concern based on research on the subject.
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General Information

You must note the following in order to make your research paper readable:

  • Make use of 12 point standard font, such as New Times Roman, Calibri, Geneva, Arial etc.
  • Ensure to double space on 8 1/2” x 11” paper with 1 inch margins on all four sides
  • Number all pages, with exception to title page

Typical errors to avoid:

  • Every new section of your work must be on new page
  • Dividing a table or figure: If at all feasible keep non-textual elements like tables and charts to one page.
  • Make sure you adhere to the recommended page limits

Stylistic and grammatical errors to avoid:

  • Grammar and spell checkers are useful, but they’re not completely perfect, thus always proofread your work, and if it is feasible have someone of higher authority read through it before submitting it.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph.
  • When it is necessary, write in an active voice.
  • Don’t use too many abbreviations, when you do make sure you define it the very first time you make use of it.
  • Do not use contractions in academic writing and do not sentence with conjunctions such as “and, or, but”
  • Keep your writing very formal by avoiding the use of slang, jargons and never address the reader directly.

Throughout your entire paper:

  • Keep your attention narrowed to the research problem you are dealing with.
  • Start a new paragraph for every new point.
  • Present your points in logical order.
  • Use present tense to report well accepted facts
  • Also, make use of past tense to explain specific results from your study
  • Do not add those things that are not necessary for enhancing and understanding of the results
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