Writing a research paper is challenging for most students and academicians. You must spend hours picking a broad topic, conducting in-depth research, collecting and analyzing the data, and presenting your answer with relevant proof from credible and supporting sources.
Luckily, there is a way to ace the research paper writing task. Whether you have an entire month or an hour, you can quickly write an attractive research paper.
In this blog post, we will provide tips for writing research papers efficiently and quickly. But before that, let us know what the research paper is.
What is a Research Paper?
A research paper is a form of academic writing that presents facts that have already been researched and explained by others. Research papers are similar to the analytical essay but usually longer and more detailed. They are designed to assess your writing and academic research skills. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, research various sources, and make a unique contribution to the debate.
Understand the Topic
Writing a research paper without understanding the topic is a waste of time. So, first, review the subject and read the writing prompt. Look at the technical requirement, too, like the length, formatting requirement, and citation style.
Most students spend valuable time researching and writing a paper on an entirely different topic than the assigned one. If the research paper topic seems vague or you need help understanding any part, feel free to ask the professor to explain it. What is ridiculous is completing the paper without understanding it. Therefore, it is better to clarify your doubts so that you write an effective and good research paper.
Research the Topic Efficiently
Once you understand the topic, the next step is to do comprehensive research. But be careful; research can become a way to procrastinate. You get lost in research as there can be so much information available.
So, to overcome the temptation of procrastination, have a time limit for research. Suppose your paper is ten pages long, spend at most 4.5 hours on the research. Spending more time than this puts you at a point where you cannot understand what to write. If you do not have enough information to write the paper, no worries, you can always do more research once you start writing.
The initial research goal is to give you enough material to start writing. Also, choose 4 or 6 key sources when researching, read them, take notes, and start writing.
Create an Outline
The most common step of the research paper writing process that many students and academicians often skip is creating an outline. It may seem a waste of time as you write down the essential frame of the paper, which you then have to expand into an actual college/university research paper format.
Write down all the ideas that come to your mind, observe those fragments, and connect them into a single outline. It is best to complete the outline as it allows you to structure the paper and organize the chaos in your mind. Also, when creating an outline, do not build a hierarchical one; list the topics you want to tackle first.
What is the Difference Between a Research Paper and a Thesis?
Sometimes research paper and thesis are used interchangeably. But this is not true; a thesis is a type of research paper that higher education students write to obtain an academic degree. It is longer than the research paper and takes multiple years to complete. Moreover, it is carried out under the supervision of a professor or other academic of the university.
The significant difference between a research paper and a thesis is that the research paper presents specific facts already researched and explained by others. In contrast, the thesis starts with a scholarly statement, which leads to further research and findings. The thesis requires the writer to input their original work and findings in a particular field, while the research paper can be completed with comprehensive research.
Create a Writing Environment
When you have correctly understood the topic, done your research, and prepared your outline. It is time to sit down and write. However, not so fast; where you write makes all the difference in creating a good and an average research paper. After procrastination, the biggest obstacle in writing the research paper is a distraction.
Suppose you sit down to write in a distractive environment. You will jump back and forth between distractions and writing the paper, wasting time. So, choose a place where people won’t distract you. For instance, sit at the library, an off-campus coffee shop, or in your dorm room. Also, when writing, you would want a comfortable place to sit. Choose a sturdy table and a comfortable chair that positions you well with the table. Also, remember to put your phone on airplane mode and install an app that blocks everything on your laptop until you are done writing.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
If the research paper is supposed to be ten pages long, most students tempt to write 11 to 12 pages. They think more is better, but it is wrong. The professors prefer an excellent 10-page paper over a 12 one. If you tend to stretch the research paper, you may dilute the argument.
Moreover, you waste your time and effort writing more than the minimum page limit, as the professor might not be interested in reading it and may not give you a good grade. So, it is best to write within the limit as you can also focus on what to write to attain a better grade.
Draft and Edit Separately
Drafting and editing the paper simultaneously is inefficient. First, write your paper with your full attention and then edit it later. Also, do not stop to look for sources when you are writing. If you need to know something, make a note of it, and return to it later. The reason is; if you look up something, it takes you away from the writing process and pulls you into a rabbit hole that will disrupt the entire writing process, and you end up taking more time to write.
So, it is better to draft the research paper first, and when you are done writing everything, then edit it and look for the sources.
Proofreading is Essential
When writing a research paper or any other assignment, it is always good to save some time for proofreading. Proofreading helps you write a better paper and rule out any spelling, grammar, and typo errors as you write. Also, it enables you to remove vague and incomplete sentences. A quick final read of your research paper is essential for a sense check and ensuring it flows well.
These are the best tips for writing a good research paper and attaining better grades. Anyone, students, professionals, academicians, or professors can follow these research paper tips to write an influential paper within a few hours.
Importance of Presenting the Research Paper at an International Conference
Once you are done writing your research paper, do not just leave it there. Instead, present it at international conferences and get a chance to network with other researchers.
Presenting your research paper at an international conference offers you immense benefits. It helps you get instant feedback on your writing and research to improve further and allows you to disseminate your findings and develop your academic background. Also, build self-confidence, improve communication skills, and grow leadership and influence. Moreover, it helps you stand out in the job market, inspires your audiences, and get a chance to network with fellow researchers.
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