The Research Paper Writing Process: Typical Questions and Suggestions
A research paper project can be overwhelming. You have a series of steps to be completed in order to lead up to a well-written and well-research essay. You have dates to be met and you have much to do before the term paper is finished. If you look at everything that needs to be completed, you may get anxious. Instead of looking at its entirety look at each step individually. Here are some questions often asked about the process with the correct response.
- How do I pick a topic? Go with the subject that you are most interested in for your topic.
- What if the teacher gave me a topic and I hate it? There is nothing worse than a topic you hate. If this happens to you, you should talk to your teacher. Be prepared to go to the teacher with respectful and viable alternate subjects to replace the one you hate.
- How do I pick main points? I think the numbers three and five as how many to have are good choices. When you have the odd numbers as amounts, you can always sandwich in your weaker selections in the middle. I think you should do a quick search of each topic you may consider using. You are looking to see if the sources are out there for that subject.
- Where do I put my subject background material? Place the background material in the introduction.
- Where do I place my thesis statement and hook? Also place those items in the introductory paragraph.
- Do I need an outline? Yes, yes, and yes. A detailed outline will always help to create a strong paper.
- Can I change my outline as I work on it? An outline that does not change is reason for concern. A changing outline means that you are doing your job.
- Why should I write two drafts? You always want to write a rough draft, so you can see how well the outline transfers to the essay. Very rarely is a first draft perfect. It usually helps to see the paper written out when it comes to locating the errors a0nd the weak parts.
- How do I know when to cite? You will have an in-text citation for when you use any material you did not know before you began to research.
- How many citations should I have in a paragraph? You need to have as many as it takes to support your ideas. Additionally, read the teacher instructions because most teachers will require a certain amount. Some teacher will even require different forums for the research such as pieces from a journal, online, or a newspaper.
- What is a reference page? A reference page is a formatted alphabetized listing of the sources you used.
- What is a Works Cited? A Works Cited is also a formatted and alphabetized listing of the references you used.
- What is a Bibliography? It is different than a reference page or a Works Cited because it is all the sources you looked at (even the ones you did not use) when you researched for the paper.
- What is an Annotated Bibliography? An annotated bibliography is a reference list of all the items you looked at and each of the items has a brief description about how and why you looked at them.
- How do I make the individual source listings on reference sheets? First find out if your teacher wants you to use MLA, APA, or another style. Then search online for a tool that will do it for you. Some of these systems are free and some charge. You will have to tell the program whether you want it MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago or other style.