From the first day of their university life students know that they will have to write a lot. Practically each professor requires students to write an essay or a research paper. And, of course, the fun part comes with exams. If you need to write only one paper in the end of the term, you can breathe out because you are blessed. Why? How much time have you spent on finishing your research paper? How many hours, days, or weeks? All is possible. Now imagine students who have to write three or four (or even more!) papers like this in addition to their exams. We have no doubt this is a scary picture. Find out more about students’ papers here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_paper. Let’s make it clear: writing an essay or a paper is never fast and easy if you want to submit a quality piece of paper. Here are the things you need to write your work:
- Do research
- Select a topic for discussion
- Make a plan of your work
- Write the introduction, the body, and the conclusion
- Cite relevant sources
- Edit and proofread your writing
How to Select a Topic for a Research Paper?
Lucky you are if your topic was assigned to you by your professor. This makes the writing process so much more pleasant because you already know what sort of information you need to search for. A huge part of work is ready – now you only should find the most relevant books and articles and start writing. But in reality professors want you to develop this extremely valuable skill of selecting a research paper topic. So, in the majority of cases, you won’t be too lucky. It is true that for some students selection of a topic is the simplest part. This is quite possible, especially when people vividly see the big picture and know which aspects of it need to be emphasized. However, there are those students who struggle finding the right topic for their paper. What is the right thing for them to do?
Get a little self-centered
This may sound not too helpful, but at the point of choosing a topic you should think about those aspects of the subject that are easy and interesting for you. Since your professor wants you to decide, you are free to go in whichever direction your heart desires. If you think that some topic is too easy, do not give up on it – other students might find your ideas fascinating when everything is done.
Get background informationHere we come back to that point where you should see the big picture. If for some reason you do not understand the subject completely, never hesitate to contact your professor and ask thousands of questions. Your goal is to understand the discipline well enough to get curious and ask even more questions.
Look for review articles
This is a good trick for students who are not lazy to read more. Usually professors give students a list of research articles or books that they find useful for the class. You will have to read most of this literature during the course of the term. Although research articles are very important for students’ learning, they are sometimes too complicated and twisted. We advise you to search for review articles. Review articles are mostly published in academic journals. These articles do not report new experimental results; they analyze research that was published before by other authors. Why are review articles so helpful? Basically, they explain things you could have missed while reading the original research article. Authors of review articles elaborate topics of research articles and often suggest new research directions. This is exactly the kind of literature you need to get a thorough overview of the existing literature on your discipline.
Find your niche and focus on it
Once you have an idea of what you want to write about, make sure your topic is neither broad nor narrow. Both options are not good enough because it will be hard to choose the right literature. When the topic is too broad, you have all the book and articles in the world to cite and get ideas from. But too many articles contain too many opposite ideas, so it is easy to get lost. If the topic is too narrow, you might find it hard to find the relevant literature. In your paper you always need to support your ideas by providing evidence from reliable sources. Too bad if you have no sources. Just make sure you chose such a topic that allows you to be flexible. We hope that your next research paper won’t bring you any difficulties, and you will easily select a perfect topic and enjoy the writing process. Good luck!