How to start Research Paper Writing Process

When writing a research paper, getting started in the first place is often the most difficult part for students. Just choosing the topic, or getting the main points into the outline can seem like a roadblock. This is a common problem, but there is a solution to help you get started on the writing process.

Here is a 6-step outline to help you get started writing your research paper:

  1. Brainstorm ideas for your topic. This is the most important thing to do first, because all the other steps are based on this one. You may have been given a general idea of the area of research you are supposed to take, but there will be some work to narrow down this general area to a specific topic. Write down some ideas; look in the notes you have taken to see if a question pops up.
  2. Figure out the scope of your topic. If it is too narrow, you will have difficulty finding enough research to write your paper. If it is too broad, you will not be able to choose a specific direction for the research to take.
  3. Conduct the research. By this time, you should have a fairly narrow topic that can be supported with sufficient research data. Collect all the relevant sources you can, making sure you document where all the research articles came from. You will need to reference each one you use, so doing the work now will save you tons of time later.
  4. Construct an outline for your paper. This is an organized plan which will help you write down the most pertinent points. There should be an introduction and conclusion which summarizes all the main points in one paragraph.
  5. Write the first draft of your paper. You do this by filling in the information for each main point in the outline. You can worry about spelling and grammar later; for now just get all the writing done.
  6. Revise and proofread. Revising is an important step that cannot be omitted. Put even more effort into revision than you did into writing. You may find places where text needs to be added or omitted. Proofreading should be done once by you and once by another person who is proficient in English. This step should also include making sure you have the proper formatting such as spacing, margins, etc.

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