Research Paper Writing: Where Do I begin?
A lot of students dread the idea of writing a research paper. For some, it means a lot of reading in the library. And to others, it means browsing through countless journals, articles and books online in search of relevant sources.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what research is all about. Doing research entails “hard work” and that is the reality of it. But if you are a person who loves reading and analyzing information, you will find that writing a research paper can actually be very simple and uncomplicated. In fact, writing a research paper is one of the easiest ways to increase your knowledge, to your benefit!
From the Middle French word, “recherche” which means, “to go about searching or seeking”, research entails finding all relevant information about a specific topic. It essentially involves processing, analyzing and synthesizing information.
In order to write a good research paper, the writer has to begin with the topic in mind. The foundation of an excellent research paper always begins with a good and well-defined topic. Here are some important questions that you may want to ask yourself before starting a research paper:
- What is my topic?
- Do I have clear goals and objectives in writing this research paper?
- Does this research paper serve a purpose?
- Is this research paper significant?
A research paper often appears in various forms. It can be a term paper, an essay, an article that requires research evidences, a thesis or a dissertation paper. In dealing with any type of research paper, it is important to begin with the topic in mind.
For example, you want to do a research on “Apple’s iPhone”. To begin, you need to ask yourself, “what about Apple’s iPhone do I want to know?”. Perhaps you have decided that you want to do a research on the Apple’s iPhone X. You need to ask further “what about Apple’s iPhone X do I want to explore?”… and so on and so forth. Until it is very clear to you what you want to know about a specific topic, then you must continue defining it. The more specific the topic is, the better. The more defined it is, then the clearer the research paper’s direction will be.
Unfortunately, many students fall into the trap of conducting research with vague and unclear topics. Consequently, in the middle of working on the research paper, they get lost and confused because they do not know what to do next anymore. Thus, to prevent such instances, it is important to have a clearly defined topic in mind.
In defining your topic well, it is also necessary for you, as a researcher, to determine what specific goals and objectives you want to achieve in conducting the research. You may need to consider your end goal or what you intend to accomplish after writing down your research paper. In addition, you must also ask yourself about the purpose of the research. It must be very clear to you what is the research paper for, who will benefit from it, as well as how important and relevant it is to a specific target audience.
Once you have a very clear and well-defined topic, then you can be certain that you will begin your research paper on the right note.
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