What is a research paper and how to write it

The mark for the essay is not included in the set off, but it is this type of work that teachers often use in intermediate certification and to allow final certification in the subject. Often – especially for correspondence students – to get a set-off, it is enough to write a good research paper. A research paper can also be considered as a preparatory stage for more serious scientific work.

What is a research paper

All pupils and students write essays, but few do it right. Often, students fail to write a research paper beautifully, and they slide into an ordinary report, which has little to do with real scientific mini-work.

Definition 1

A research paper is an abridged retelling of the contents of a primary document or documents with basic factual information.

Those. the essence of this work is to retell and summarize the information received on this topic. Training essays can be divided into two categories:

  • Research paper on one source. This may be an essay on an article, a book. Such work involves the study of one primary source, highlighting the main thoughts, presenting them (with reinforcement by quotes) and formulating conclusions.
  • Research paper on several sources, for the disclosure of a specific topic. In this option, the student must select several sources on the topic, preferably containing different author’s positions on the subject of research, analyze them and draw their own conclusions. Be sure to write the sources used in the research paper, and when quoting make links to them.

The research paper should not be reduced to copying a source or compiling material from two or three sources. Methods for writing an essay involve the processing of material by the author.

What are the parts of the research paper

To write a research paper, you need to include the following structural elements:

  • Title page.
  • Contents (table of contents).
  • Introductory part (introduction).
  • The main text, which can be divided into sections and subsections.
  • The final part (conclusion).
  • The list of used literature.
  • Attachments (optional item).

The rules for writing an essay suggest that the ratio between the volumes of the parts will be maintained. The title page and content occupy one page. About 70-80% of the research paper volume falls on the bulk, 5% on introduction and conclusion.

Example 1

Consider how to write a research paper of 20 pages. A sample plan (shown as an example) indicating the volume in pages:

  • Title page – 1 page.
  • Table of Contents – 1 page.
  • Introduction – 1 page.
  • The first chapter is 7 pages.
  • The second chapter is 8 pages.
  • Conclusion – 1 page.
  • List of sources – 1 page.
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In this case, the introduction and conclusion account for 5% of the volume, and the bulk of 75%.

Stages of work on the research paper

The rules for writing an essay for students imply the sequential implementation of the following actions:

  • Selection of the topic of the research paper.
  • Writing a plan.
  • Literature selection and sorting.
  • Direct writing of a research paper.
  • Presentation of the research paper.

In order to write a high-quality essay, they must be carried out in stages, without missing any of the points.

Let us dwell in more detail on some stages, which are largely due to the requirements for the essay.

As for the choice of topics, most often for essays choose the most relevant topics. But no one has canceled the classics, so from year to year students write works on hackneyed topics that just need to be covered. It is common practice when a teacher gives a student a topic without leaving room for decision-making. But if you have a choice, no doubt, stop at something relevant and interesting to you personally.

Start writing a specific essay should be a plan. Many students neglect this (someone really can do without it, and someone is just lazy). The bottom line is that the lack of a plan can lead to a departure from the topic, which is a gross mistake.

At the stage of selecting literature, it is necessary to separate verified information from unverified information, sort out facts that are already beyond the scope of the topic, and leave only the most necessary and relevant. Further information is ordered in accordance with the points of the plan.

The correct spelling of the introduction in the research paper involves the substantiation of the relevance of the topic, an indication of the goals and objectives of the work, a review of the literature.

Information characterizing the subject of research should be written in the main part of the research paper.

The conclusion should contain conclusions on the topic.

How to write a research paper

When evaluating an essay, teachers pay attention to two criteria:

  • The content of the research paper.
  • Design research paper.
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A few tips for writing a meaningful essay:

  • Do not delay writing the essay at the last moment. Although this type of work does not require such a thorough study of the material as the term paper, the margin of time will be very useful if there are problems with the selection of material.
  • The easiest way to select material is to write a report title in the search bar. But with this method, it is likely to get links to the database of finished essays, the quality and relevance of which are very doubtful. It may be useful to download a sample of the research paper, look at the plans and references, but it is better to take information from more authoritative sources.
  • When writing a research paper, you need to use not only textbooks, but also monographs and articles in periodicals. You can go to the university library or use the online libraries, many of which are free. It is optimal to use literature no older than 3-5 years, but exceptions may be made for classics (or when reviewing the history of the issue).

How to draw up a research paper

Writing a research paper correctly in terms of design will help the template, which should be taken from the teacher or at the department. If there is no such template, you can focus on standard requirements:

  • The title page contains information about the university, department, topic of the essay, discipline, student and teacher data, city and year of writing.
  • The table of contents indicates the parts of the research paper and the pages on which they begin.
  • The research paper is printed in 14 fonts with 1.5 spacing, without spacing between paragraphs, the indentation of the first line is 1.25 cm. Throughout the research paper, a single font design (Times New Roman) is used, highlighting in bold is unacceptable.
  • Each section begins with a new page. Subsections are written throughout the page.
  • The sources used must necessarily be referenced in the text of the research paper. As a rule, footnotes should be written in square brackets (source number and page from which the material was taken).

When writing an essay clearly follow all the requirements for its design. This will help you avoid mistakes not only at the moment, but also in the future, when writing term papers or theses. Indeed, the main task of the research paper is to teach you to work independently with literature and other sources of information, while highlighting from it the main thing that relates to the topic under study. Sloppy, incorrect design of the work is unacceptable.

READ:  Sample title page for a research paper

Common mistakes when writing a research paper

When writing an essay, students make fairly typical mistakes:

  • Too much volume.

Example 2

The usual length of the research paper is 15-20 pages. But sometimes a student finds a lot of interesting information, and prints a research paper of 30-40 pages. This does not indicate a deep study of the topic, but the inability to highlight the main thing. Most likely, the teacher will not accept this work (or greatly reduce the grade).

  • Although a lecture is a secondary work based on the work of others, the author of the lecture must also express his opinion and draw personal conclusions. Material from books and articles should either be made out as a quote, or be processed, retold in your own words. Many universities check research papers using anti-plagiarism systems, and the detection of illegal borrowing can cause the research paper to be sent for rework.
  • Use of irrelevant information. In economics, jurisprudence, technical and many other disciplines, information quickly becomes obsolete. What was true 5-10 years ago has now become invalid. Therefore, when writing essays, you need to use not only textbooks (even if they were recently published), but also check them using more quickly updated sources.

Example 3

So, if in the research paper there are references to laws, they must be verified according to the current editions from reference legal systems, statistical data – according to the publications of the relevant services.

  • Using a small number of sources. Sometimes a student finds a book that, at first glance, looks perfect on a topic, and takes all the information from it alone. But in any topic there is room for scientific discussion, other authors may have a different position on the same issue, and it is advisable to highlight different points of view in the research paper (at least to indicate their existence).