Writing a research paper can be intimidating, especially when you have deadlines and word counts to meet. The organization of the material can be one daunting task if you do not know where to start. Luckily there is a road map to writing a great research paper that will get you from beginning to end in the easiest and fastest way possible.
The fastest way between two points is a straight line, so the topic is the first thing you have to work with. Picking your topic is essential, but the topic could be given to you. Although a research paper may seem easier when you can actually pick the subject you will be surprised at how easy you can make writing a research paper on anything. As soon as you know the topic you are writing about you must brainstorm on things you already know about this subject. Get a piece of paper ready to write down the ideas as you are more likely to remember things that you actually write down. Focus on those ideas because they will be the basis of your paper, and keep them organized.
Once you have the ideas written down, you must then do the research on them. Make sure that what you have in that piece of paper actually applies to the subject overall. It does happen sometimes that during the brainstorming phase we come up with ideas that we may have thought were connected to the topic overall just to find out later that we were thinking of something else. So the verification comes first. If it does apply to it find as much information as you can including quotes and book notes; they will give your research paper the necessary credibility. Do not settle for less than 3 sources. The more sources the better your research paper will be, up to a point. The best research is thorough and takes more than a few opinions into consideration. Citations from experts on the field should also be quoted.
Organizing the information
The information you have gathered can be lengthy and it will most likely be unorganized. It is time to go back to your notes and see which ideas you want to present on your paper first. The organization of ideas depends on the organization requesting the research. You can organize it in a chronological manner or you can organize it according to relevance. Most historical research will be placed in chronological timeline style while a news research article would be written with the most relevant information first. The ideas must be neatly organized so that the reader can understand the results of the research.
Putting the research on paper:
Once all the information is organized and ready to be put on paper, there may be something else you want to do. It is not necessary to do it, but it will give you an idea of how your paper will look before you even write it down. Get some of the most important bits of information and put them on a piece of paper in the order you feel they should be on the paper. Read it and see if you get the feeling you want the reader to feel; if you don’t then play around with the information one last time. It may be a good idea to consult with a colleague or class mate to see what they think. A second opinion besides our own can be of great help since some people tend to want things so perfect they will never see the perfection they already have. Follow those steps and your research paper will be ready to go faster than you ever thought.